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How to Rap Like J. Cole [ULTIMATE GUIDE]

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One of the best ways to start rapping is to try and emulate your favorite rap artist. J. Cole is a popular rapper with a unique style, and if you like his music, you may want to learn to rap like him.

If you’re looking to start or improve your rapping, you should learn how to rap like J. Cole.

To rap like J. Cole, it’s important to understand his style, from writing lyrics to performing his music. Listen to as much of his music to get a sense of the overall flow.

After listening, consider rapping along with a song or two before trying to write unique lyrics in a similar manner.

You don’t need to have a ton of experience rapping to rap like J. Cole. If you can listen and rap along to his songs, you can take that and translate it into your own music. Then, you can become the next J. Cole.

Listen to J. Cole’s Music

One of the first things you should do to rap like J. Cole is listen to his music. Get a feel for the beats he uses, the lyrics and topics he writes about, how fast he raps, and more.

Consider everything from the big picture parts, like the overall mood, to the small details, like when he breathes.

Listen to as much of his music as you can so that you can learn more. You can start to listen to his more popular songs, like Lights Please, which can be useful.

But if you want to get a deeper sense of his style, you should listen to as many songs as you can.

As you listen to different songs, try to pick out certain elements, like the lyrics or drum beat. Think about how the separate parts fit together to form a cohesive rap.

You should also try to find patterns between his songs, which can help you tell that they’re his music and not another rapper’s song.

Study Your Favorites

After you listen to a bunch of songs from J. Cole, decide which are your favorites. Keep listening to them and figure out more of the details.

Think about the topics J. Cole covers in the songs, how fast he raps, and how he structures his lyrics.

Listen to your top J. Cole songs as much as you can so that you can pick out more details. You may discover new things that you missed out on before after listening a few more times. Then, you can keep learning about J. Cole’s style.

You can also start to learn the lyrics and rhythm so that you have something to practice. Pull up the lyrics on Google or print them out and have them in front of you as you listen.

Think about how he forms the verses and chorus of a song and what rhymes he uses. Consider how long the phrases are and what lyrics he includes in each part.

Rap Along

Once you start to learn the lyrics, practice rapping along with a recording by J. Cole. Do your best to emulate his style, pronunciation, and other factors.

If there’s a long phrase, try to figure out when he breathes so that you can do that, too.

Consider memorizing the lyrics to one or more songs so that you can rap without the lyrics in front of you. Watch videos of how J. Cole moves as he performs, and you can see how the physical movements can help you.

You don’t need any fancy equipment to practice rapping like J. Cole, all you need is a computer or phone that can play music.

As you memorize your favorite J. Cole songs, you can play them in the car or while you do basic chores. The more you practice rapping, the better you’ll get at it.

And if you want to rap like J. Cole, you should focus on his music, particularly the songs you enjoy.

Figure Out What You Like

As you practice rapping to J. Cole’s music, you should try to figure out what you like about a specific song. Maybe you like the lyrics he uses or how fast he raps. Perhaps in one song, you like the tempo he uses and how everything flows.

Think about how you like the beat and any instrumentals that are part of a song. Like with your earlier studies, consider everything from the small details to the big picture.

Consider listening to some of the songs you don’t like as much and find the elements that you do like within them. Maybe you don’t like the beat of a certain song, but you might like the lyrics.

Once you have an idea of what you like, you can compare that across different J. Cole songs. You may notice a pattern which you can use when writing your own raps in a similar style.

But you should also consider the opposite of that, specifically what you may not like about J. Cole’s music.

Figure Out What You Don’t Like

Even if you love every song that J. Cole writes and performs, you should try to find something that you don’t like as much about his music.

It can be hard to find the bad parts when you really like a rapper, but doing so can help you. While you can rap like J. Cole, you probably don’t want to be an exact clone.

If you have a hard time finding aspects that you don’t like, try making a list. Make a list of his songs and write them down in order, starting with your favorite.

As you go down the list, you can find songs that may have more elements that you don’t enjoy.

Then, listen to some of those songs and list out the different parts, like lyrics, topic, beat/rhythm, and instrumentation. List those in order of your favorite part to least favorite.

Even if you like the least favorite element, you can use that list to find the aspects of J. Cole’s music that you don’t like as much.

Writing Lyrics Like J. Cole

After you spend time studying J. Cole’s music and rapping along, you should try to write your own stuff. You can emulate his style in your lyrics and backtracks, and you can follow a similar writing method.

Then, you can write a new rap and use what you’ve learned about J. Cole.

Every rap has a few different parts, including verses, the chorus, and usually an intro and outro. A lot of rappers will start with an intro, which starts the rap, and that leads to some negative space to fill out the main beat.

You might hear J. Cole then ad-lib some words before starting the first verse. After that, you’ll hear the chorus, which will repeat a few times throughout the song. Next, comes the second verse before you return to the chorus.

After that, there’s usually a third verse, but it might have a different beat or flow than the first two. And each of these verses will need unique lyrics that all revolve around the main topic, which you can write about in the chorus.

Fill the Space

Between the intro and first verse as well as between verses and the chorus, you may hear some instrumentals. Some rappers, like J. Cole, will often fill that space by ad-libbing extra lyrics.

They can come up with those lyrics on the fly, or they may write them beforehand.

Filling the space between verses and the chorus can help you get creative. If you want to work on that part specifically, try rapping and improvising to fill the space in a J. Cole song.

Listen to how he fills space so that you can do that with your rap.

You don’t have to rap during every beat of the song, but it can be good to get creative at times. If you ever feel like you need a break when rapping, enjoy that space between a verse and the chorus.

Then, you can take a deep breath so that you can successfully rap the next section.

Focus on the Drum

When it comes to writing the third verse of a rap, you should try to make it different from the other verses. Not only should you change the lyrics, but you can also change the flow and rhythm.

Some songwriters will call this the bridge, especially when it gets to be very different rhythmically and melodically from the other verses.

Either way, you can change up the verse phrasing and structure to keep listeners interested. You can then use the end of the verse to lead into the final chorus before finishing your rap.

If you want a successful third verse, focus on the kick drum to come up with the beat. You can change the beat right before this verse to get your listeners’ attention.

As you write the lyrics and fit them with the beat, focus on the kick drum as your foundation. J. Cole does this very well in songs like G.O.M.D.

Change the Flow

As you first start writing raps to emulate J. Cole, you can use the standard structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus. However, you can change the flow and structure of your raps as you get more experience.

J. Cole uses a variety of rap structures, and you can use his music as a guide. You can use the lyrics to determine the various parts, such as a verse or a chorus.

Some songs also have a pre-chorus, which is a small section just before each chorus.

You can also use a pre-verse, which gets you out of the chorus and to the next verse.

Experimenting with the flow of rap can help you understand how J. Cole writes and performs, and it can help you when it comes to writing your own music.

Get Real

If you’re trying to decide what to write about, go with your experiences. J. Cole gets open and real in his writing, and that’s what makes him so unique. He doesn’t follow anyone else’s rules when it comes to writing or performing.

While you may not have the same experiences as J. Cole, you can still write like him. Use your past and what’s happening in your life now to shape your lyrics.

Take any successes or failures as inspiration for lyrics and overall topics for the raps you write.

You don’t need to share every part of your life in a rap, but you shouldn’t be afraid to be honest.

If you’ve struggled in some way, rap about that. And if you dream of driving a fancy car, you can share that as well. Whatever you do, write from your heart.

Start With an Idea

When you start to write a rap like J. Cole, start with an idea for the song. You may have an idea for a lyric, or you might have a beat in your head that you can work with.

If you don’t have anything, come up with something you’re passionate about.

Maybe you have an idea to write about your love life or your career. Perhaps you want to share an experience from your childhood. On the other hand, maybe you’ve had a certain drumbeat stuck in your head and need to get it out.

All rappers need to start with some sort of idea or passion.

Without one, it can be hard to write a good rap, even if you do want to follow the style of someone like J. Cole. Your passion or idea is what will drive you through the entire creative process, especially when you may have writer’s block.

Let It Flow

You may feel tempted to force lyrics out of you, and doing so could help you rap like J. Cole. But you may not always have a good idea for a lyric or a beat, and that’s okay.

When you do sit down to write a rap, let the lyrics and beats come to you.

Sometimes, the lyrics may come first, and you can create a beat that matches the flow and energy of the lyrics. Other times, you may have an idea for a beat, and you will have to write lyrics that fit with the beat.

Finally, you may come up with an idea for a lyric and a beat at the same time, which means you shouldn’t have to worry about fitting the two together.

If you want to write a rap like J. Cole, consider listening to his music as you brainstorm ideas. You may find an inspiring lyric or drum pattern that you want to work with. Then, you can build on that for your song.

Put Your Spin on It

Even J. Cole will sometimes use old musical ideas to form his raps. He’s used music from older songs and artists, like Jimi Hendrix and Ronnie Foster, to inspire him.

But if you do take an idea from J. Cole or someone else, make the material your own.

Change the beat or adjust the lyrics so that you don’t outright copy someone else. Especially if you plan to release the music, you don’t want to risk a copyright claim.

But you can use older beats and samples, and you can edit them to make them unique to you.

Combine those beats with original lyrics, and you can create a fantastic rap. Then, you can rap like J. Cole and write original songs at the same time.

Practice Writing Lyrics

If you want to rap like J. Cole but want to write your own music, you should practice writing lyrics. You can listen to J. Cole’s music to figure out what he tends to write about.

Listening and reading his lyrics are helpful for when you may not have many ideas.

As you listen to J. Cole’s lyrics, you can use those to influence how many words or syllables you include in a phrase. You can determine how he ties the verses to the chorus and how he combines his lyrics with the best.

But whether you take something from J. Cole or use your own idea, you should practice writing lyrics as much as you can.

You’ll get better and more confident at it the more you do it. And you can start to write lyrics that are in the same style as J. Cole but are unique to you.

Keep Listening

Listen to J. Cole’s music as much as you can, even after you start writing your own stuff. If you want to follow in his footsteps, you should know what music he has out there.

Whenever he releases a new song or album, get your hands on it and listen to it.

Compare it with his older songs and albums, and compare all of his music to yours. Think about how close your style is to his and if you want to change anything.

Also, listen to your music. After you finish producing a song, keep listening to it so that you can understand your personal style. If you want to rap more like J. Cole, you can use his music for inspiration.

Or if you find your music is too similar, you will know to change something.


J. Cole is an amazing rapper, and he can be a great source of inspiration for up and coming artists. If you want to rap like J. Cole, you should study his music and practice rapping along. Then, you can start writing music as he would.