J. Cole is undoubtedly one of the most legendary rappers of this generation—and dare we say, of all time. Even those who aren’t into rap have for sure heard his name at least once or twice in their lives. That’s how huge he is in the hip-hop and rap industry.

He’s been around since the late 90s and still makes music to this day. Some might call him a “bridge” between the old style of rap and the trendy new rhythms younger, modern rappers love to play around with. It’s no surprise that people of all ages love his work, be it his famous 2011 album Cole World or more recent tracks.

J. Cole is popular for many other projects aside from his rapping. He founded the record label Dreamville in 2007, and even rose the ranks in professional basketball these last few years.

But one more thing he is popular for is how well he rocks his dreadlocks. Check out how he has maintained and styled his dreads over the years with these 10 hairstyles.

J Cole Dreads:

Performing at ESPN The Party in Arizona in January 2015

J. Cole used to wear his hair super short, but in the mid-2010s, we started to see him rock traditional dreads. Of course, those started out quite short in length as well, as seen in this photo. We see a young J. Cole gripping the mic, getting ready to hit the crowd in Scottsdale, AZ with a powerful verse.

This dreadlock hairstyle is great for those with thick, coarse hair but aren’t quite sure they want to maintain super long hair. As you can see, the dreads are thinner than usual, too.

At Dreamville’s New York Bar Crawl in December 2015

In 2015, J. Cole and a couple of guys from his record label Dreamville decided to party it up and play music in New York’s East Village. They hopped from bar to bar, playing music for the crowd.

By this time, J. Cole’s hair had gotten longer, but they were still in those thin dreadlocks. Because of the length, they seemed wispier and more relaxed than his hair earlier in the year. There was more volume and height to his hair too, which was very flattering for his face shape.

Onstage at Bonnaroo in June 2016

Six months later, we see J. Cole again, this time having his stage at the Bonnaroo music festival. His dreads have grown out quite a bit, falling to the top of his forehead close to his eyes. The mass of hair in this photo is also starting to look heavier and weighed down, making it look a little flatter and more relaxed up top. It was the perfect look for a chill party weekend in Tennessee.

At Cozz’s “Effected” Album Release Party in Early 2018

A few years later, J. Cole is seen with full-on dreads that are thicker and longer than how he used to wear them. What’s cool about this length and style in particular is that some of his locks would fall directly in front of his face. Instead of sweeping them back or wearing a headband, J. Cole would let them stay where they were, giving him an edgy look.

Performing at Rosemont for His KOD Tour in Mid-2018

Sometimes, when performing on stage, J. Cole likes to style his hair in a low ponytail to make sure his locks don’t make him extra sweaty while rapping on stage. In this leg of his KOD tour, he decided to put his hair back but still leave some dreads on the sides to frame his face just right.

While Recording Revenge of the Dreamers III (2019)

When he and the rest of the Dreamville artists were recording their compilation album released in 2019, J. Cole had dreads that were thicker and longer than ever before. But he didn’t let them fall over his face anymore. Instead, they were styled so that they were a bit more slicked back, like so. That way, we saw more of J. Cole’s handsome forehead.

In His XXL Mag Interview in 2019

In a tell-all interview about Dreamville Records in 2019, J. Cole was photographed with his dreads in a messy, high ponytail, but still with a few tendrils left near his temples. This is a great hairstyle for beating the heat, especially in the summer.

At a Photoshoot for GQ Magazine in 2019

J. Cole usually looks laidback and scruffy, but for this photoshoot specifically, he looked very dashing and clean-cut. His dreads were clipped back into what looked like a half-updo, without those signature locks sticking out behind his head or on the sides of his face. The hairstyle was paired with a bright-colored suit, which made J. Cole clean up even more nicely.

Performing in Portugal in 2022

This year, we saw J. Cole’s dreadlocks get even longer, almost hitting the middle of his chest. He wore his hair down plain and simple at his performance in Portugal, pairing this stripped-down look with an equally comfortable breezy shirt and pants.

At His Scarborough Shooting Stars Game in 2022

Now playing pro basketball, J. Cole often puts up his dreads in a loose bun, like in this photo. That way, his dreads won’t be in the way as he plays ball.

Because the style in which it is tied is quite relaxed, there are little wispy locks that stick out here and there, giving him that carefree vibe. It’s the perfect look for anyone who wants to play sports while showing off their traditional dreads.

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