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104 J Cole Quotes That Will Inspire Your Greatness

Karabo Baloyi
May 13, 2022
04:35 P.M.
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Whether rapping or speaking during interviews, J Cole oozes authenticity and success. So we gathered 105 of this award-winning lyricist's best quotes to help inspire your greatness.

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J Cole broke into mainstream hip-hop in 2007 with his mixtape, "The Come Up." He has since garnered multiple awards, including a Grammy for best rap song and a BET Award for best lyricist of the year.

But his music is not the only reason J Cole has won over millions of fans. From his first album and media interview, he has embodied authenticity and excellence.

If his lyrics and quotes from media interviews are anything to go by, anything J Cole has to say about anything is worth a listen. So go ahead and explore these 105 quotes from J Cole about everything from love to music and chasing your dreams.

J Cole's quote: “Never give up until you’ve given out all your very best. It’s better to fail trying than wondering what could have happened if you tried.” | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: “Never give up until you’ve given out all your very best. It’s better to fail trying than wondering what could have happened if you tried.” | Image: AmoDays

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J COLE QUOTES ABOUT CHASING DREAMS

“I’ve always been an underdog. I feel like I beat the odds.” — J Cole

“In a game full of liars it turns out that I’m the truth. Some say that rap’s alive. It turns out that I’m the proof.” — J Cole, Rise and Shine

“I always feel like it’s two key ingredients when it comes to following your dreams, making something happen that the average person deems difficult. If you truly believe it, that’s step one. Step two, is, you know, the hard work that goes along with it.” — J Cole

"Anything I do, I want to do it well." — J Cole

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"As much as it might look like to someone else that I’m successful, I never feel like I’m anywhere. The further I go, I still feel equally further from my eventual goal. Because as I grow, I get more goals. I’m never content." — J Cole

J Cole's quote: “You have to hurt in order to know. Fall in order to grow. Lose in order to gain. Because most of life’s lessons are learned in pain.” | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: “You have to hurt in order to know. Fall in order to grow. Lose in order to gain. Because most of life’s lessons are learned in pain.” | Image: AmoDays

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“I put a lot of pressure on myself. I think something’s not good enough, and I won’t stop until I feel like I’ve made it. I’m never satisfied.” — J Cole

"At the bottom of the hourglass lies sand that represents the past, in which all of my demons rest. I’m calling out for help." — J Cole, KOD

"Every loser gotta win and every winner gotta lose someday." — J Cole, Deja Vu

"Everything grows, it’s destined to change." — J Cole, Middle Child

"I don’t live for the accolades. I’m more so about the music. Making it, and putting it out. Those are the two best feelings." — J Cole

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J Cole's quote: “There’s a story behind every person, a reason why they are the way they are. So, think about that before you judge someone.” | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: “There’s a story behind every person, a reason why they are the way they are. So, think about that before you judge someone.” | Image: AmoDays

"I feel like I am officially in the game, but I also feel like I’m not where I want to be. I’m far from it. I got a lot more things to do. I got a lot more respect to get." — J Cole

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"Me be right here. Have my mom be able to be right here. My brother over here. My girl’s grandmother and family right here. Friends over there. That’s my real dream." — J Cole

"I studied the greats, I’m the greatest right now." — J Cole, Middle Child

"I want people to follow their dreams, yes… but I’m not interested in telling young black kids how to be rappers… I want to show them that there are so many other paths you can take, besides a rapper or basketball player." — J Cole

"If they don’t know your dreams, they can’t shoot them down." — J Cole

J Cole's quote: “As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have a ton of friends & more important to have real ones.” | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: “As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have a ton of friends & more important to have real ones.” | Image: AmoDays

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"If you ain’t aim too high, then you aim too low!" — J Cole, Forrest Hills Drive

"One thing you should know about me is I never play to lose. Always aim high and rarely obey the rules." — J Cole

"Promise to my momma I’mma make it to the top, so I’mma keep climbing ‘til my heartbeat drop." — J Cole, Can I Live

"We got dreams and we got the right to chase ’em." — J Cole, Crooked Smile

"College isn’t in everyone’s hearts. I am living proof, though, that school doesn’t mess up your plans. It gives you more experiences to write about." — J Cole

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"I want to be like Bruce Springsteen or something, making songs that are relevant." — J Cole

 J Cole's quote: “I keep my head high, I got my wings to carry me. I don’t know freedom, I want my dreams to rescue me.” | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: “I keep my head high, I got my wings to carry me. I don’t know freedom, I want my dreams to rescue me.” | Image: AmoDays

"Don’t let bridges you cross be bridges you burn." — J Cole

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"My real dream is to have a whole, like, buy a whole piece of land. Imagine, like, a long driveway. Like, a cul de sac-type street, with maybe, like, seven houses." — J Cole

"Time is short, that’s what somebody told me." — J Cole, Change

"You can dream but don’t neglect the execution." — J Cole, Change

“I keep my head high, I got my wings to carry me. I don’t know freedom, I want my dreams to rescue me.” — J Cole, Love Yourz

"College had a great deal to do with my development as a person. I don't know if I'd be the artist I was if it wasn't for goin' to school like that. School is a good place. It ain't for everybody, but I think it's for most people." J Cole

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J Cole's quote: "Anything's possible, you gotta dream like you never seen obstacles.” | images: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "Anything's possible, you gotta dream like you never seen obstacles.” | images: AmoDays

INSPIRATIONAL J COLE QUOTES

“Never give up until you’ve given out all your very best. It’s better to fail trying than wondering what could have happened if you tried.” — J Cole

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"But the only real change comes from inside." — J Cole

"Either you play the game or let the game play you and be that broke sucka talkin bout I stayed true." — J Cole

"Anything's possible, you gotta dream like you never seen obstacles.” — J Cole, The Autograph

J Cole's quote: "I had a lot of resistance, and not just to fame. I was always conscious of not changing.” | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "I had a lot of resistance, and not just to fame. I was always conscious of not changing.” | Image: AmoDays

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“I’m here to spread a message of hope. Follow your heart. Don’t follow what you’ve been told you’re supposed to do." — J Cole

"We ain’t picture perfect but we worth the pictures still." — J Cole, Crooked Smile

“You are perfect exactly as you are. With all your flaws and problems, there’s no need to change anything. All you need to change is the thought that you aren’t good enough.” — J Cole

"Am I about dollars or about change? Am I about knowledge or brains? Freedom or big chains? They don’t feel my pain." — J Cole

“Keep grindin’ boy, your life can change in one year. And even when it’s dark out, the sun is shining somewhere.” — J Cole, Premeditated Murder

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J Cole's quote: "Catch me, I’ve fallen in love for the first time." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "Catch me, I’ve fallen in love for the first time." | Image: AmoDays

"But see, I’m growing and getting stronger with every breath." — J Cole, Change

"How ’bout you listen and never forget?" — J Cole, KOD

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"I try to find employment even if it’s wiping toilets." — J Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only

"I’m controlling my mind, the days are warm, the nights are cold, the lost is found, I’m found." — J Cole, Brackets

"My heart is big, I want to give too much." — J Cole, The Cut Off

J Cole's quote: "I feel like I am officially in the game, but I also feel like I’m not where I want to be. I’m far from it. I got a lot more things to do. I got a lot more respect to get." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "I feel like I am officially in the game, but I also feel like I’m not where I want to be. I’m far from it. I got a lot more things to do. I got a lot more respect to get." | Image: AmoDays

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"My intuition is telling me there’ll be better days." — J Cole, Change

"Take a chance, because you never know how perfect something can turn out." — J Cole

"If practice made perfect, I’m practice’s baby." — J Cole, KOD

J Cole's quote: "My life is too crazy, no actor could play me." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "My life is too crazy, no actor could play me." | Image: AmoDays

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J COLE QUOTES ABOUT LIFE

“You have to hurt in order to know. Fall in order to grow. Lose in order to gain. Because most of life’s lessons are learned in pain.” — J Cole

“Sometimes our dreams come true, sometimes our fears do too.” — J Cole

“There’s a story behind every person, a reason why they are the way they are. So, think about that before you judge someone.” — J Cole

“As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have a ton of friends & more important to have real ones.” — J Cole

"I had a lot of resistance, and not just to fame. I was always conscious of not changing.” — J Cole

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“To appreciate the sun, you gotta know what rain is.” — J Cole, I'm Coming Home

J Cole's quote: "No rapper in the world from Jay-Z to Tupac to Biggie has 100 percent love on everything they do." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "No rapper in the world from Jay-Z to Tupac to Biggie has 100 percent love on everything they do." | Image: AmoDays

"They say time is money, but really, it’s not. If we ever go broke, time is all we got." — J Cole

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"You can't reverse fame. You can lose all the money, but you’ll never lose people knowing you." — J Cole

"But there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world. Whether or not you’re aware of it, it’s happening." — J Cole

"Feels so right to let things go." — J Cole, Friends

"I seen a baby cry, seconds later he laughs... the beauty of life, the pain never lasts."— J Cole

J Cole's quote: "My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate My faith don’t deviate, ideas don’t have a date." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate My faith don’t deviate, ideas don’t have a date." | Image: AmoDays

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"I feel like this: Whatever is in your path and in your heart, you need to do." — J Cole

"I flip my misfortune and grow me a fortune." — J Cole, ATM

"No need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on." — J Cole, Change

"I understand this message is not the coolest to say, but if you down to try it I know of a better way, meditate." — J Cole, Friends

"I was a class clown. At 12, I was definitely clowning. I was making all the jokes. But I was smart, so the teachers didn’t know what to do with me." — J Cole

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J Cole's quote: "I want to be like Bruce Springsteen or something, making songs that are relevant." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "I want to be like Bruce Springsteen or something, making songs that are relevant." | Image: AmoDays

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I was a fool, spent all my time ducking school, ducking cops, ducking rules, hugging blocks that don’t love you."

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— J Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only

"I’m a super-duper over-analyzer. You mix that with self-doubt and pressure, and that’s never healthy." — J Cole

"I’m half-black, half-white, so I basically put it like this: I can fit in anywhere. That’s why I write so many stories from so many different perspectives because I’ve seen so many." — J Cole

"If the pressure get too much for me to take and I break, play this tape for my daughter and let her know my life is on it." — J Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only

"Life can bring much pain. There are many ways to deal with this pain. Choose wisely." — J Cole, KOD

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J Cole"s quote: "Producing all my own songs and refusing to go to the hot producer. That’s the biggest risk I’ve taken so far." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole"s quote: "Producing all my own songs and refusing to go to the hot producer. That’s the biggest risk I’ve taken so far." | Image: AmoDays

"Life is a movie. Pick your own role, climb your own ladder, or you dig your own hole." — J Cole, How High

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"Life is all about the evolution." — J Cole, Change

"My life is too crazy, no actor could play me." — J Cole, KOD

"No such thing as a life that’s better than yours, no such thing — no such thing." — J Cole, Love Yourz

"One thing about your demons, they bound to catch up one day. I’d rather see you stand up and face them than run away." — J Cole, Friends

J Cole's quote: "You are now the reason that I fight I ain’t never did nothing this right in my whole life." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "You are now the reason that I fight I ain’t never did nothing this right in my whole life." | Image: AmoDays

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"Rejection makes you defensive, so you protect your pride with your reflexes. But life is a game with no reset at the end." — J Cole

"Time will tell who is on my side." — J Cole, The Cut Off

"What’s done in the dark will always find a way to shine." — J Cole, Kevin's Heart

"You coulda bought a crib with all that bread that you done blew I know you think this type of revenue is never endin’ But I wanna take a minute just to tell you that ain’t true." — J Cole, 1985 (Intro)

J Cole's quote: "This year gon’ be different, I set my intentions I promise to slap all that hate out your voice." | Image:

J Cole's quote: "This year gon’ be different, I set my intentions I promise to slap all that hate out your voice." | Image:

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MEMORABLE J COLE QUOTES

“I’m searching and praying and hoping for something. I know I’m gon’ see it, I know that it’s coming.” — J Cole, For Whom the Bell Tolls

“I put my hand to the sky, [and] I sing. Grateful for the blessings you bring. Thank you for the ones I love. Forgive me for the times I was down and confused. I know what I reap is what I will sow." — J Cole

"My life accelerated but had to wait my turn. But then I redecorated, that means my tables turn.” — J Cole

“In this life ain’t no happy endings. Only pure beginnings followed by years of sinning and fake repentance.” — J Cole

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"One thing about the men that’s controlling the pen that write history, they always seem to white-out they sins​​​​​​​." — J Cole

"I have a little bit of that gamer spirit in me. I just don’t have the time to be a gamer. But in another life, I would be one." — J Cole

"You are now the reason that I fight I ain't never done nothing this right in my whole life." — J Cole

J Cole's quote: "Either you play the game or let the game play you and be that broke sucka talkin bout I stayed true." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "Either you play the game or let the game play you and be that broke sucka talkin bout I stayed true." | Image: AmoDays

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"I struggled with being a broke college graduate, and while all my friends were getting career jobs, I was working horrible part-time jobs. That’s why now, even when I get tired, I think, ‘This is what I asked for." — J Cole

"I’m not gonna be bad at anything, and I want to actually be the best at anything I’m doing. So if I’m playing basketball, if I’m taking the SATs, like, there’s a competitive spirit behind it. With production, it’s the same thing." — J Cole

"No rapper in the world from Jay-Z to Tupac to Biggie has 100 percent love on everything they do." — J Cole

"I’d rather be happy being myself than sad trying to please everyone else." — J Cole

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"This year gon' be different, I set my intentions I promise to slap all that hate out your voice." — J Cole

"Producing all my own songs and refusing to go to the hot producer. That's the biggest risk I've taken so far." — J Cole

J Cole's quote: "This is my canvas, imma paint it how I want to baby." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "This is my canvas, imma paint it how I want to baby." | Image: AmoDays

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SHORT J COLE QUOTES

"Hard to move on when you always regret one." — J Cole

"Damn, cold world. I never thought I’d see the day that you’re my old girl." — J Cole

"Don't worry, Even Jesus never saw his real father." — J Cole

"I kinda like the idea of having an album that's all me." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"I'ma be here for a while. None of these clowns can hurt me." —​​​​​​​ J Cole​

"This is my canvas, imma paint it how I want to baby." ​​​​​​​— J Cole

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J Cole's quote: "No need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "No need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on." | Image: AmoDays

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"My goal is to have that be a haven for families." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

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"So here we are… it’s funny how so close can seem so far." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"You hate it before you played it. I already forgave ya." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"I've always been an underdog. I feel like I beat the odds." ​​​​​​​— J Cole

"Catch me, I've fallen in love for the first time." ​​​​​​​J Cole

J Cole's quote: "Sometimes I try a Mai Tai. It's so fruity. It's a little embarrassing, but I like it."  | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "Sometimes I try a Mai Tai. It's so fruity. It's a little embarrassing, but I like it." | Image: AmoDays

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J COLE QUOTES ABOUT SPIRITUALITY

"My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate. My faith don’t deviate, ideas don’t have a date." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"Sometimes I think pain is just a lack of understanding. If we could only understand it all, would we feel no pain? God must feel no pain." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"I’m not a conscious rapper, all those things we talk about, the struggle, the pain, the outlook to the future, keep your head up. I try to put all those positive things into a regular human character, which is myself." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"If I was to go to sleep before midnight, I would feel weird about myself, like I wasted a day. My most productive hours are between midnight and five." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

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"As we speak I’m at peace, no longer scared to die." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"I know Heaven is a mind state I’ve been a couple times." —​​​​​​​ J Cole

"I know I’m blessed because yo’ stress is realer than anything I done been through." —​​​​​​​ J Cole​​​​​

J Cole's quote: "College isn’t in everyone’s hearts. I am living proof, though, that school doesn’t mess up your plans. It gives you more experiences to write about." | Image: AmoDays

J Cole's quote: "College isn’t in everyone’s hearts. I am living proof, though, that school doesn’t mess up your plans. It gives you more experiences to write about." | Image: AmoDays

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J Cole is one of the most vocal rappers on everything from racial injustice to education. He has remained true to his identity as a bi-racial man too. He has also expressed the complexity of his life through his music.

His longevity in the rap industry is partially attributed to his authenticity, but his lyrics are also timeless. The rapper has certainly cemented himself as one of the greatest.

If J Cole's quotes were an inspiration to you, you'll enjoy this compilation of Oprah Winfrey's words of wisdom.

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