By: Bianca Anderson
Jermaine Lamaar Cole, also known as J.Cole, has been on the climb with his music ever since his mixtape “Friday Night Lights” dropped in 2010. This mixtape showed many that J.Cole was no ordinary rapper, but unique and transparent in his style. With every word and rhyme, listeners are able to feel his music in depth through his lyrical flow as he tells his story.
Cole’s newest release “2014 Forest Hills Drive” is the type of album that you just have to kick back and listen to taking in every flow. In the album artwork, J.Cole is sitting on the actual house that he grew up in and recently bought back. The image and name of the album is essentially the basis of the album in entirety as Cole takes us on a nostalgic journey of his life and experiences, while also addressing current issues in our society today. As usual, Cole spits the real s*** that everyone can relate to.
The album starts off melodically with the “Intro” as Cole ask the question “Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be free?” and eventually transitions smoothly into the second track “January 28th” which is J. Cole’s birthday. Most of the tracks on this album have a piano feature and a lot of instrumentals. J.Cole’s also uses his raspy, yet appealing singing voice throughout the majority of the album. Some of the highlighted tracks from this album are “Wet Dreamz” where Cole talks about innocence and losing his virginity, “No Role Modelz” addressing the issue of young women and their promiscuity in today’s society, and “Love Yourz” where Cole talks about the importance of loving what you are and what you have. Each track is a great example of J.Cole’s transparent artistry. Cole also shows a tougher side of himself in “A Tale of 2 Citiez”, “Fire Squad”, and “G.O.M.D” as he speaks on the pressures of the street lifestyle while growing up as an adolescent.
This album is yet another masterpiece and was produced almost perfectly. The fact that J. Cole is able to keep his original style while still dominating in Hip-Hop speaks volumes. From here, It’s only up for Mr. Cole.
I give this album 4 owls up!