J. Cole: Three Dollars and a Dream

A Dollar and a Dream, is all a nigga got/So if it’s bout that cream, then I’m all up in the spot…

Among his well-received string of works, J. Cole’s “Dollar And A Dream” series is by far an undeniable fan-favorite. First appearing on his 2007 mixtape, The Come Up Mixtape, Vol. 1, the track features the former XXL Freshman showcasing his signature lyrical charm while filling listeners in on his challenges, hopes, and dreams. Dropping the third installment in the trilogy on his recently released debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, Jermaine’s tale continues. Taking a close look at the three songs, XXL breaks down each of his lyrics to find the many threads. —Ralph Bristout