J. Cole raps about growing up in underrated new album

Bradie Gray

Twenty-nine year old rapper J.Cole released his third studio album over winter break just before the start of the new year.

2014 Forest Hills Drive, named after his foreclosed childhood home that he recently bought back, is a story-telling album intended to be listened to in one sitting.

2014 Forest Hills Drive takes the listener on a journey through Cole’s life starting with his birthday on January 28th, his high school career in both Wet Dreamz and ’03 Adolescence and his move to New York City in A Tale of 2 Citiez.

The album is riddled with rebellious lyrics on many taboo topics.

He touches on current racial and political issues involved in the music industry in Fire Squad during one of the most talked about lyrics of the album, stating “History repeats itself and that’s just how it goes/ Same way that these rappers always bite each other’s flows/ Same thing that Elvis did with rock ‘n’ roll/ Justin Timberlake, Eminem and then Macklemore.”

He even gives his own opinion on the current racial drama surrounding white Australian female rapper Iggy Azalea in a premonition stating “This year I’ll probably go to the awards (show) dappered down/ Watch Iggy win a Grammy as I try to crack a smile.”

He ends the album with the nearly 15 minute Note to Self, a song he calls “the ending credits” which he uses to thank all of his supporters and those who worked with him on the album.

Cole refused any guest appearances, did not release any singles and did not make any music videos in preparation for the release. The success of the album can be credited to the music itself and exposure from the fans.

Forest Hills continued Cole’s legacy of speaking on important issues to the tune of catchy beats. He shed his boyish bravado and replaced it with manly intellect this time around and ended the “crown claiming” that so many male rappers wish to do.