25 Best Rap Debuts of the 21st Century

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10. J. Cole, Cole World: Sideline Story

After years of false starts amid his building buzz, J. Cole finally dropped his mostly self-produced, major-label bow last year, exceeding expectations both commercially (topping Billboard) and creatively, by artfully toeing the line between rap braggadocio ("Rise and Shine"), tasteful radio hits ("Can't Get Enough") and emo introspection ("Lost Ones").   

(Photo: Sony Music)

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