16. Rich Ni**az – prod. by J. Cole

J. Cole is another artist that isn’t shy of shooting for a “triple double no assists” (the line used by Kanye on “Monster” to describe the fact that he does both the beats and the rap). Speaking about the production, Cole describes it quite humbly as “just a bounce with a kick and a snare, real simple 808.” It may be simple but it is also very effective, the melody setting Cole up to express his bitterness and jealousy towards those who are born into privilege, unlike him. Interesting fact, Cole was born at a US Army base in Frankfurt (then in West Germany – funner fact, I was born in Germany too!) to a father who is a former soldier and a German mother who worked as a postal worker for USPS. Cole’s dad went on to abandon the family, so it was his mother who moved to North Carolina and brought him up.  He may be widely known as a great storyteller with his bars, but I think J. Cole is overlooked as a phenomenal producer.

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