J. Cole is nothing if not patient. The rapper, born Jermaine Lamarr Cole, spent some four years crafting material for his recently released debut album, 'Cole World: The Sideline Story,' and he sat for nearly as long on his 'Lost Ones' video, a powerful clip he finally debuted last night (Oct. 25) at the Best Buy Theater in New York City.

"With just a dollar and a dream," reads Cole's disclaimer in the opening seconds, "this video was shot in 2008, before, I even had a record deal."

Watching it now, the up-and-coming Roc Nation signee writes, "it still gives [him] the same emotions," and it's easy to see why.

The visuals for this song -- all about a couple wrestling with an unplanned pregnancy -- could have easily devolved into soap-opera-like melodrama. Instead, the North Carolina rhymer turns in a convincing performance, portraying a young buck who initially wants his girlfriend to have an abortion but then has second thoughts.

Directed by the duo Bergman and Bohichik and starring actress Antoinette Lenae as the mother-to-be, 'Lost Ones' raises key questions about parental responsibility. Taking the female perspective in the song's second verse, Cole questions how the song's male protagonist could even consider turning his back on the family, given that he himself is the product of a fatherless home.

In the closing bars, Cole switches to third-person narrator, asking the dude he voiced in the first verse a question that echoes several times as the track fades out, underscoring the idea there's no easy answer: "What about your seed, n----a?"

Watch J. Cole's Video for 'Lost Ones'