2. January 28th
3. Wet Dreamz
4. 03′ Adolecence
5. A Tale Of Two Citiez
6. Fire Squad
7. St. Tropez
9. No Role Modelz
12. Love Yourz
13. Note to Self
“The real is back, the Ville is back…”, North Carolina rapper J. Cole released his 3rd album 2014 Forest Hills Drive Dec. 8th.
On this album, Cole takes listeners to his past with songs like; Wet Dreamz (where he raps about losing his virginity), ’03 Adolescence, A Tale Of Two Cities (“since a youngin’ always dreamed of gettin’ rich”), No Role Modelz, and Apparently.
On 2014 Forest Hills Drive, Cole gives us different aspects of who he is as person as well as an artist.
“No role models but i’m here right now, no role models to speak of, searchin’ through my memory, my memory I couldn’t find one”, he raps in No Role Modelz.
Because the album mainly focuses on his past and how it may have affected his present and how it could affect his future, there is a lot of vulnerability shown.
“Think back to Forest Hills, no perfect home but the only thing like home I’ve ever known until they snatched it from my mama and foreclosed her on the loan”, he continues to reminisce on tough times by apologizing, “I’m so sorry that I left you there to deal with that alone…”.
In the past he has had love and heartbreak.
On the song Hello, Cole reminisces, “I thought about you today and I thought about the things you used to say and I thought about the things we did…”
And no, Cole doesn’t just sing of a love he may have had but another kind of love…loving yourself. Love Yourz similar to the message in his 2013 hit, Crooked Smile. Cole raps about what it means to be happy whether you’re rich or poor.
J. Cole never fails to make you sit and think. When I was listening to 2014 Forest Hills Drive there were times I had to rewind and here it again.
Like in January 28th my favorite line, “The real is back, the Ville is back, flow bananas here peel this back, and what you’ll find is, your highness can paint a picture vivid enough to cure blindness, Carolina’s finest…”.
And when the beat drops in A Tale Of Two Citiez, and you hear “nice watch, run it!”, it’s an automatic turn up no matter where you are.
Many relevant truths are said throughout this album. No wonder this is Cole’s 3rd #1 album, also 2014 Forest Hills Drive is officially GOLD. Yeah, that’s right haters and who ever is in charge of award shows…it’s gold baby.
But, J. Cole makes it clear that not winning an award is expected even though he’s obviously a king,
“This year I’ll prolly go to the awards dappered down, watch Iggy win a grammy as I try to crack a smile…”.
Before that line in, Fire Squad he raps about hip hop nowadays and how white people have always taken black artists’ sound, “history repeats itself and that’s just how it goes, same way that these rappers always bite each others flows…”.
In another song, G.O.M.D, Cole also serves up truth about music in today’s world, “It’s called love, n*ggas don’t sing about it no more, don’t nobody sing about it no more…”.
From the Intro to Note to Self J. Cole has proven to be one of the best rappers and artists period out right now and maybe even ever. But, that’s my opinion (*cough* but my opinion is fact don’t argue it).
The Intro itself leads into how great the rest on the album will be. He asks, singing repeatedly “do you wanna, do you wanna be, happy?” and then asks, “do you wanna, do you wanna be, free? Free from pain, free from scars, free to sing, free from bars…”.
Throughout the video for the Intro he’s riding his bike through the city and stops to look at cars that sit in a glass window. This video reflects the whole vision of his album. Searching for happiness or purpose by trying to have material things or being famous or “king” as he raps on Fire Squad, or trying to make it to places like St. Tropez.
The message I get from this is that you can’t truly get to where you want to go unless you, Love Yourz no matter what your past may have been or where you come from.
By the way if you’re the type of person to skip the credits, don’t skip the credits on this one! Trust me, you don’t want to skip Note to Self.