J. Cole is a monster on the mic and behind the boards. HipHopDX’s Sparkle Pratt picks the top five beats Cole gave to other artists.
J. Cole is known for his lyrical bars and dope metaphors, but have you really sat down to look at his production catalog? Besides producing nearly all of his own music, J. Cole has produced for some of the top artists in the game. Time to revisit five dope tracks that J. Cole has produced for other artists. Let’s start off with one that everyone knows.
Kendrick Lamar – “HiiiPower”
J. Cole produced Kendrick Lamar’s lead single “HiiiPoWer” for his 2011 independent album Section 80. Believe it or not, this was the first collaboration between the two artists. The song was created to further explain the HiiiPoWeR movement. J. Cole used samples from Pharoahe Monch’s “Simon Says,” Kanye West’s “So Appalled,” and Sixtoo’s “Duration Project Part 9.” The track also featured additional background vocals from Top Dawg Entertainment affiliate, the late Alori Joh. Kendrick Lamar spoke with The Come Up Show about the collaboration saying, “His production is crazy, man. The first time we locked in, he played about 10 beats. I wanted 11 of ‘em.”
Before this track was released, rumors of Kendrick and Cole dropping a collaborative album had surfaced but as of yet, nothing has come.
Fabolous – “Louis Vuitton”
J. Cole was featured on and produced Fabolous’ “Louis Vuitton” off his seventh mixtape Soul Tape 2, which was released in 2012. The song addressed materialistic gold diggers stating, “All she ever talk about is Louis, Louis, all she ever talk about is Louis Vuitton and nigga, I can’t fuck with her no more.” J. Cole sampled Marvin Gaye’s “Poor Abbey Walsh” to make this head-bobbing beat.
Wale – “Bad Girls Club”
J. Cole was featured on and also produced Wale’s “Bad Girls Club.” The upbeat track was a leftover track for Wale’s 2011 second studio album Ambition. Even though the track wasn’t featured on the project, it still serves as a dope collabo.
DJ Khaled f. J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. & Kendrick Lamar – “They Ready”
Cole co produced DJ Khaled’s “They Ready alongside Canei Finch. The song featured J. Cole himself, plusBig K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar. Track appeared on DJ Khaled’s sixth studio album Kiss The Ring. Cole continues the sampling using Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” for this track.
Talib Kweli f. Marsha Ambrosius – “It Only Gets Better”
Last but not least we visit J. Cole’s productions on Talib Kweli’s “It Only Gets Better.” The song featured the talented Marsha Ambrosius and appeared on Talib’s 2013 album Prisoners of Conscious.
Kweli spoke with VIBE saying, “It was actually J. Cole’s idea to get her on the track. I was chopping it up with Cole about finding a way to get him on my album and instead of him rapping, it ended up being a beat. The hook that Marsha’s singing, J. Cole came up with that. If you listen carefully, you can hear him in the background. We were talking about getting a female voice and he was like, ‘Let’s go with Marsha’.”
Now that we’ve revisited some tracks that J. Cole has produced, who would you like to see him collab with?