Rap Battle Fantastic: J. Cole vs. Wale

This Friday, two of the strongest members of hip-hop’s freshman class are playing at Siegel Center: Wale’s the laid-back rapper from D.C. with a penchant for go-go music and an obsession with “Seinfeld” and J. Cole the angry intellectual from Fayettevile with with a raspy voice and bottomless vocabulary. Sure they’re friends, but wouldn’t it be sweet if they battled?

This Friday, two of the strongest members of hip-hop’s freshman class are playing at Siegel Center. Wale‘s the laid-back rapper from D.C. with a penchant for go-go music and an obsession with “Seinfeld”. And J. Cole is the angry intellectual from Fayettevile with a raspy voice and bottomless vocabulary. And if you only know Wale as the other guy on “No Hands” and J. Cole as the other guy on “A Star is Born,” then go get your download on.

But anyway, this got us thinking: Sure they’re friends, but wouldn’t it be sweet if they battled? Well, since they didn’t answer any of our phone calls or e-mails, we took matters into our own hands. After hours of going through mixtapes, freestyles, and studio albums, we picked out the hardest bars from each M.C. and stacked them against each other for a four round battle. And you get to pick who won! Let us know your vote in the comments.

Oh, by the way, beware of explicit language. This isn’t Will Smith vs. … uhhh … Will Smith.

Round 1

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-1-J.-Cole.mp3|titles=Round 1 – J. Cole]

They say I’m the down south Nas
The east coast Pac
The Carolina Andre
The Fayettenam Kanye
So join it, ya can’t beat it
To all the nonbelievers
If you missed it I’ll repeat it
I’m the light skinned Jesus
– J. Cole, “I Really Mean It”

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-1-Wale.mp3|titles=Round 1 – Wale]

I can make the clouds jealous, nigga, I am that fly
Listen to the words, I’m a wizard wit it
Wittier than any nigga, sicker then a wino kidney liver
Y’all riddles don’t tickle a bit,
Y’all similes is literal shit
Though I’m the metaphor of that, my rhetoric inedible,
This excrement means excellent rap,
I make the lesser adapt
– Wale, “Wordplay”

Round 2

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-2-J.-Cole.mp3|titles=Round 2 – J. Cole]

Hey, Cole World, make way for the chosen one
What you now hear is putting fear in all the older ones
Down played me to downgrade me, like they don’t notice him
Your shoes too big too fill? I can barely squeeze my toes in ‘em
Fucking hoes while teaching niggas to hold your sons
This the rap Moses, scratch that, Mary and Joseph’s son
High as fuck with a cold flow and a loaded gun
Never say I’m better than Hov, but I’m the closest one
– J. Cole, “Looking For Trouble”

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-2-Wale.mp3|titles=mockbattle – Round 2 – Wale]

With this rap shit, you know I do the fucking most
I’m all over this beat like a motherfucking stethoscope
I’m forever dope, you can check your schedule
My timing was any better, then bitch, I’d be a metronome
I am such a renegade, but try to be professional
But I am way too passionate to patch shit up and let shit go
Want you all to listen so I rap it in a lecture form
But when you intellectual, some niggas ain’t gon’ let you on
– Wale, “The Soup”

Round 3

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-3-J.-Cole.mp3|titles=Round 3 – J. Cole]

Your shit is garbage, If I drop you, I’m a litterbug
Busy getting money, I ain’t fucking with that Twitter, girl
Fuck what they say, wishing me harm and sorrow
They here today, bet they be gone tomorrow
They catching Z’s on me, hey we gon’ call ’em Zorro
I’ll let you sleep today, but it’s on tomorrow
Yeah, I said it’s on tomorrow
I’m coming for the game and I ain’t talking loan or borrow
– J. Cole, “The Last Stretch”

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-3-Wale.mp3|titles=Round 3 – Wale]

Paint on my face, layin back rollin the J
Feelin like these rap niggas aint as real as they say
That’s why I keep my friends limited, keep them hoes interested
Resented by the game like I’m Pete Rose in this bitch
Ain’t nothin stoppin us, tell you what the problem is
I’m on top of my game but these niggas won’t acknowledge it
So a nigga hungry as a plastic hippopotamus
To stop us, better take it in blood like a phlebotomist
– Wale, “The Problem”

Round 4

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-4-J.-Cole.mp3|titles=Round 4 – J. Cole]

Clever with it, my flow like a devil spit it and heaven sent it
So high if I dropped I would fall for 11 minutes
So yeah, I operate on a higher plane, my thoughts take a higher train
It’s dope, then you should know the suppliers name
It’s J. Cole, set of horns and a halo
And all these Jose Cansecos wanna text-us like Waco
Its hard to remain faithful niggas be throwing hate
Yo I’m in a league of my own so what the fuck would I play for?
– J. Cole, “Dead Presidents II”

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mockbattle-Round-4-Wale.mp3|titles=Round 4 – Wale]

Nike shoes 3 Gs, aint seen in the store
Y’all dudes rap like you’re readin’ “The Source”
Wale raps like he reads a thesaurus
I’m the reason that atheists can scream for the lord
The second blessing, no second guessin
You niggas in the closet like priests at confession
My words touch the youth like priests, i’m confessin’
Niggas out the league, like Priest when I’m rushin’
– Wale, “The Freestyle (Roc Boys)”

Tickets $13 for VCU students, $36 for everyone else — available at the Siegel Center box office. For more information check out VCU’s Homecoming site

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Doug Callahan

Doug Callahan is a grad student at VCU and the community news intern here at RVANews. When he’s not working toward his degree, Doug enjoys playing music, watching cartoons, and carousing with friends. His talents include the ability to move his scalp and play the “William Tell Overture” on his teeth. He loves each and every one of you, in very different ways.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. I give my favors to any man who can use the word Phlebotomist — let alone work it into a rhyme.

  2. Javier on said:

    Of coarse..Wale.

    Good article btw.

  3. J.cole

  4. Its crazy because these definitely arent the ” hardest ‘bars from their mixtapes. ESPECIALLY J.cole .

  5. ilskillz on said:

    These are not their hardest bars!

  6. Danny on said:

    J Cole is way better than Wale

  7. ugotit on said:

    Wale is NICE, but he will never be able to see J.Cole- they have songs together, check em out, especially Beautiful Bliss from Wales album!

  8. J. Cole wins this hands down, the depth of his lyrics and wordplay far surpasses Wale. A better example of some of his work would be “Lights Please.”

  9. a little bias, but hands down Wale got it.

  10. J. Cole… because I think he’s precious.

  11. Definitely Wale.. and you are missing some of his best stuff;;;



    and come on its at VCU… Black and Gold:

  12. Amin on said:

    ima Have To Go With The Therapist J.cole But its Only By Half an Inch Cause Wale is To Real

  13. pauly d on said:

    round 1- wale
    round 2- j cole
    round 3- wale
    round 4-j cole

    not being bias but j cole win split decision

  14. J Cole. Hands Down!

  15. XkweezMe on said:


  16. Malik on said:

    ohhhh, Wale nice ,but cot dam homie J.cole is on some other level.#coleworld

  17. nalu da kid on said:

    j cole i think would win you guys used the wrong bars but wale came ill doe no lie two of my favorite rappers

  18. Danny B on said:

    Wale all day 100 %

  19. Jasmine on said:

    wtf? all I do is listen to these two…my two fav rappers…y would yall use these lines? lmao! J. Cole will crap on Wale…lmbo…yall better go listen to his lyrics again lmbo! @ everyone who said Wale #Cole World

  20. Although I love both of them, I’m a little bias. Wale has it hands down. It doesn’t take a second listen for me to understand any of Cole’s figurative language. If it weren’t for rapgenius.com, I’d be totally oblivious to the hidden wordplay in Wale’s lyrics. Perhaps Cole is favorable to the lazy listeners.

  21. Matt on said:

    Wale but by half an inch, not through just these songs but through both artists best songs. They are both very talented rappers no doubt this is no hands down win to either side and if you think so then you should take some literature courses because you are not familiar with figurative language, aka not a true hip hop poetic appreciator. Analyzing lyrics doesn’t take one listen, it takes a couple. J. Cole is talented and serves a fat punchline a very nice use of internal rhymes and similes and metaphors which you catch first listen. Wale on the other hand has the same artillery, yet includes double entendres, alliteration, white space (its a term I made up to coin the area of no lyrics. The use of space in a song and a painting is important. You don’t want to crowd up an area too much. Just like a recipe, you put a dash here and a dash there. Jay-z uses this white space by raping on the off beat and switching his pattern of rhyming. Wale uses white space very well), onamonapia’s, etc… So for those who said J. Cole first glance win by a small margin your right, but after analyzing the lyrics, Wale will always take the crown and for those artistic reasons. If you disagree I’d love to hear your reasons and I’m open minded to discussion.

  22. premexes on said:

    Judging by ’em lyrics on here, i go with j cole all tha waym

  23. Stephen D on said:

    Wale wins don’t get me wrong J.cole is a lyrical god but wale brings that unorthodox poetic style that can not and probably will not be copied by anyone plus wale is like a walking dictionary.

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