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Before he was J. Cole, the Roc Nation MC went by Therapist. Today, a record called “The Reasons” from that era hit the Internets.

Early on, you can hear the seeds of the artist we now know as J. Cole. At just 17-years-old, his flow was potent, but clearly still developing. We also assume that his topic choices were limited, as compared to what he could pull from today.

“Remember counting pennies up as a bright kid/ Now I’m dreaming to put my mother up in a nice crib,” he raps on a beat built around heavy horns and melodic flutes.

These days, things look pretty good for J. Cole. He delivered a favorable LP in Born Sinner last year. He’s also went on tour and partied with a few superstar peers to boot. Hear where it all started from on “The Reasons” below.

[via HHNM]

Photo: GQ