When 2022 is all said and done, there's a strong chance J. Cole could hold the title belt for the most fire guest verses of the year.
His latest mind-blowing feature came on BIA's hard-hitting single "London" – not to be confused with Young Thug's 2020 track "The London" with Cole and Travis Scott – where he trolls Carmelo Anthony for a classic viral photo.
"Yummy, they got no more bread, they're crummy / The same way that Melo was starin' at Rih is the way that I stare at the money / I'm ready to risk it all if I lift it, bet I won't miss it, you a statistic," Cole raps with attitude.
He's nodding to the infamous 2014 picture below of Melo staring at Rihanna at the Met Gala, looking like he was going to "risk it all." (He was married to LaLa Anthony.) This isn't the only time Cole has name-dropped Melo, though.
In his timeless 2010 cut "Premeditated Murder," Cole uses Melo as a punchline to flex how he's "balling with nuggets" or jewels. "I'm balling with nuggets like f**k it, I'm Carmelo!" he says.
A couple of years later, Cole also name-checked Rihanna on "Nobody's Perfect," foreshadowing a viral clip where the pair chat about his new dreads. "Now a n***a only text and get stressed over Rihannas / I'm talkin' tens and better, hood b*****s in Timbs and sweaters," he spits.
While Cole never seems to lack confidence, he recently admitted in an IG caption that he "was excited but genuinely nervous" when BIA asked him to hop on "London." He explained, "I didn't even see how the song could be better after what she did to it. I didn't want to f**k nothing up!"
In addition to BIA, Cole has added Benny The Butcher, YG and a few others to his collaborative catalog this year. The replay value of "Johnny P's Caddy" from Benny's 'Tana Talk 4' project is especially high thanks to witty lines like, "I'm prolly gon' go to Hell if Jesus ask for a feature!"
Safe to say the 37-year-old is making good on his goal to expand his creative community, an idea that ignited the legendary recording sessions for 'Revenge of the Dreamers III.' In his 2020 essay for The Players' Tribune, Cole wrote about the "deep fear of rejection" that isolated him from his peers.