Album Review: 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J.Cole

J.Cole is not a new name in the rap name  and has released three major label albums to date.  His latest discography addition presents  Cole in what many may say is his prime.  He has had is chance at rising to fame with club hits and singles, however this project seems like a different Cole.

The intro starts off with Cole asking the listener do you want to be happy? This is the general theme of the entire project. Its Coles path to happiness, and it culminates with him realizing that happiness is unconditional love.  This album starts off with a very melodic type of production and transitions into a smooth set of instrumentals  the whole tape through.

January 28th is a song in which Cole speaks on some pressing issues in america that have to deal with race. The racial injustice between  black and white murders, however not only that  but also on successful blacks only being portrayed as rappers or athletes.  Cole makes some very good points in this song and it really sets the mood for the type of album and mindset Cole is in.

Wet Dreamz and 03 Adolescence brings Cole back to his upbringing and tribulations he endured  growing up. Wet dreamz places him in the shoes of a 13 year old Cole who is being asked to have sex for the first time.  It’s an accurate portrayal of the games teenagers play  with each other in early sexual encounters. Not only does he lie to the girl about his prior experience but she is lying about  her experience as well. This is a song  for anyone who has made it past their teenage years to relate too.  03 Adolescence places him reflecting on his past and how life changed throughout the years. Cole recalls the street things he did with his friends, and one friend in particular steering him away from that lifestyle.  Cole sounds thankful for the things he went through in his life, and happy he has made it to the place he has in life.

A Tale of Two Cities is the banger that more than likely  will become one of the most popular songs from the album.  Lyrically  Cole  doesn’t put as much effort into this song, because its meant to be a trap banger for the masses. Firing Squad Comes  next and in this song Coles Lyrical ability shines.  With lines like I’m so far head of my time even when I rhyme about the future I be reminiscing .  On Firing Squad Cole spits  3 beautiful  verses over top some very upbeat and energetic production. Cole is making the statement that he’s on his own level, no need to compare him to some of the people he name drops in the song.

G.O.M.D is probably one of the most creative songs in terms of production. It starts off with a sample of  what sounds like  a man chanting something over a very heavy  drum beat, the heavy drum then drops in and out for Coles verses and switches in between each hook and chorus as well.  This instrumental is extremely complicated, shout out to …….. for production credit.   The theme of G.O.M.D is a satire of what the main stream plays such as the hook on the song that starts exactly like the famous Lil Johns To the Window to the wall opening line.   Cole than plays on the fact that the media also almost never promotes monogamy in Hip-hop and actually singing about love is not done anymore.

Cole finishes the album with four quality and thought provoking songs, starting with Hello and No Role Modelz. Hello puts Cole singing over a band of horns on how his love for a girl has transformed and changed through time.  Originally not wanting to take ownership of her two previous kids, but ultimately realizing that the love is too strong for something like that or anything  to separate the two.  On No Role Models Cole goes back into the recurring theme of love.  He speaks on how  he wants the faithful  love of uncle Phil and aunt Vive in the Fresh Prince.  The song is aimed to show that there is no current role models of a faithful black marriage in this generation, only the club singles that promote women as objects.

Finally Cole finishes with his single apparently, in which he reflects back on his life once more and conveys how it has made him the strong clear headed man he is now; Setting up for the final epiphany  of a song, Love Yourz. The final actual song on the tape leaves Cole reflecting on what Love actually is, and that’s the connections you have with the people around with you. This is by far my favorite song on the tape, and really shows how much Cole has actually grown up.  It’s a much slower beat, and Cole is rapping on loving everything that is yours, because There’s no such thing as a life that’s better than yours a hook that is song throughout the song.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album from Cole and would rank it  as his best music he has put out to date.  Both the Lyrical Content and beat production were amazing on this album, and each song had a specified purpose for the theme, Just as any good albums song selection should  I can’t wait to hear what Cole has to offer next, and this album is proof that Cole is definitely headed in the right direction.

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