2014 FOREST HILLS DRIVE — J. COLE
To make a long intro short, when the trailer for this new J. COLE album first popped up in our newsfeeds… we were hyped! Getting straight to it, here are the top 5 tracks that we’ve been BUMPIN’:
5. “NOTE TO SELF”
“…How could I forget Jonah Hill! … I’m just fuckin’ playin’, I don’t know either one of those two dudes.”
Starting off with the closing track, “Note to Self”, in a nutshell, is the rolling end credits for the album. Not the first time he’s done this but COLE uses the track to give shoutouts to his Dreamville team, and even his “MAMA OOOHH”! A skippable track but cool to see that COLE still does this to show love to the people who help build him up.
4. “FIRE SQUAD”
“If you scared to take a chance, how the fuck we gon’ get rich?”
No doubt one of the more agressive tracks, if not the most agressive one on the record, COLE attacks the mic on “Fire Squad”. Out the gate, COLE drops braggadocious bar after bar, which amidst the majority of quieter tracks, was definitely a nice refresher. Many people were quick to jump and call this an “Eminem diss”, which to be quite honest, couldn’t be any further from the mark. COLE’s objective was aimed at addressing his opinion on the growing prevelance of White artists in rap, whom he feels have gentrified, if you will, rap from Black artists for the mainstream, not as an Eminem diss. If anything, it’s more of an Iggy diss. Regardless, COLE came hard on this track, which is dope.
3. “WET DREAMZ”
“I said I’m like a pro baby // ‘Oh you a pro homie?’”
Personally, I’m a pretty big fan of storytelling. To me, there’s something nice about whenever rappers recall times from their youth. Done right it’s sorta humbling. Not gunna spoil it for y’all, but on top of the story, this track’s got a mean plot twist! Who doesn’t like a plot twist?!
“So everyday I thank the man upstairs // That I ain’t you and you ain’t me”
Get off my dick!
1. “LOVE YOURZ”
“Always gon’ be a bigger house somewhere, but n*gga feel me // Long as the people in that motherfucker love you dearly”
Say I’m “stuck off the realness”, but “LOVE YOURZ” knocks it out the park. This track was originally going to take the number 2 spot but after a ton of listens, it definitely takes the cake. The substance of COLE’s message, his energy — the level of conviction in his expression and delivery on this really shines through above the rest on this album. After all, he spits the truth — Above the big house, the money, the groupies, life is ultimately about love and about appreciating that love. Everything else falls to the wayside.
As an existing J. COLE fan, this was a pretty sweet album all together. While the tracklist doesn’t boast too many radio hits to turn up to, COLE does make up for it with his flow, cadence, production, and his choice of subject matters. Which in fact, is what he does best. COLE’s “guns” is his ability to keep it “real”; to speak on real life events that most rappers today don’t — something that’s certainly missing and needed in today’s music.
Overall, a killer listen.