J. Cole was faced with a challenging task while crafting his third album following 2011’s Cole World: The Sideline Story and 2013’s Born Sinner. He had to impress audiences with something new while holding on to the reason that fans have heavily praised the MC since his early mixtape days. And after trying to keep the album on lock for private listening sessions and trips to fans’ homes, the project’s out. So, how did he deliver?
Off top, it’s important to note that 2014 Forest Hills Drive is a concept album. Its name comes from the address of a home that he once lived in, a home that was eventually taken from his mother and one that the star now owns. The trajectory of Cole’s career and of this project’s storyline centers around this same type of journey: a yearning for stability, a dream realized, a disappointment and a triumphant return.
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