Kevin Lupo & Ben Muzekari
On December 9, 2014, the famous rapper J Cole released his third ever album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. With tremendous success on his previous two albums along with several mixtapes, the expectations were high, but they were met. The North Carolina raised MC surprised his fans with Christmas come early as the album included 13 lyrically enjoyable tracks. The album tells a unique story of J Cole’s start of his journey to where he is today.
2014 Forest Hills Drive was a much different LP release than most, as it was announced only a few weeks before along with no singles. Cole really wanted this one to be for the fans and told the press sales didn’t matter. Growing up as a kid, J Cole’s inspiration and favorite rapper was Tupac Shakur. Inspired by Tupac’s “All Eyez on Me”, J Cole similarly swapped z’s with s’s in the song titles “Wet Dreamz”, “A Tale of 2 Citiez”, and “Love Yourz”.
A song that really speaks to people is “Fire Squad” in which Cole self-proclaims himself as the “king.” In the third verse of the song, he calls out white artists including Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Macklemore, and Iggy Azalea. Listeners have deemed the song as a “diss track”, but it’s nothing of this sort. Before pointing fingers, Cole makes historical references to black music being stolen. The song ultimately uplifts black culture and is a great listen considering its reggae style.Ultimately, J Cole’s third ever album was more than a success as according to hotnewhiphop.com, the audience rating is at a high 94 percent. The 13 tracks tell a unique story of J Cole’s childhood as many kids growing up can relate to the lyrics he sings. The 30 year old rap star continues to live up to his name, leaving people to expect even more for his next album.