J. Cole: From “Simba” to “Simba”
When J. Cole was a relatively unknown up-and-comer back in 2007, he dropped The Come Up Mixtape Vol. 1 (we’re still waiting on Vol. 2), which featured the track “Simba.” On the track, Cole spits boastful raps as he eyed the crown for two and a half minutes straight, with no hook. Two years later, then a new Roc Nation signee, Jermaine released The Warm Up, which included the fan-favorite track “Grown Simba.” The thumping track again showcased the North Carolina native’s lyrical prowess and storytelling. Then, Sunday night—two years after The Warm Up—the former XXL Freshman delivered “Return of Simba” via Twitter. His fans ate up the new track (“Cole World” was a trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. from Sunday night to Monday morning) and we did, too. We also noticed that Cole had a number of similar topics and threads that carried throughout the three songs—but continued to attack them in a fresh way. Below, check out the lyrics from the three songs, matched up side by side.