Forest Hills Drive

Marykate Fallon
Staff Writer

The North Carolina native, Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known by his stage name, J. Cole, ends 2014 with a bang by releasing his new album, Forest Hills Drive. This makes a total of three albums for Cole and his success keeps growing.

Instead of Cole’s usual radio-friendly and commercial hits, Forest Hills Drive tells a whole different story. Cole decided to make this album a story of his childhood, his triumphs and how he got to where he is today. The album shows a whole different side of Cole and this bold move has fans only wanting more.

Cole has a mix of different songs on his album, ranging from ‘03 Adolescence, which takes a more serious route, and Wet Dreamz, which is more of a playful, upbeat song.

Overall, each song on the album takes a different approach in telling a story about Cole’s life.

When asked, “What do you like most about the album?” junior, RJ Balado, said, “Cole is able to discuss a lot of different topics about growing up and how fame has affected his career. Many people have gone through what he raps about on Forest Hills Drive and not a lot of artists have done that before.”

Balado rates the album an 8.6 on a 1-10 scale and believes it is Cole’s best album so far. Balado said, “I’ve always been a fan of J. Cole and every album he produces continues to get better and better. His flow continues to improve and I would definitely recommend it.”

Many artists have been influenced by others in the game and Cole was able to grow as a rapper because of two very influential people. Popular rappers, Jay Z and Eminem, had a strong influence on Cole, allowing him to mature as an artist and make a name for himself. Having these two figures in his life, Cole was able to experience both of their styles and have a mix of commercial and hard rap in order to create Forest Hills Drive and his other popular hits.

  1. Cole’s second album, Born Sinner, was released in 2013 and was another highly successful album.

Junior Leo Jorge is also a J. Cole fan and even though he listens to Forest Hills Drive on the reg’, he believes, “Forest  Hills Drive is a great album and I would rate it 8.5. Cole tells a totally different story but, personally, I think Born Sinner is his best album so far.” Even though Jorge doesn’t believe this is Cole’s best, his favorite song is No Role Modelz and loves how Cole’s songs “portray real life situations.”

Cole’s hard work  landed his album on the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200, selling well over 360,000 copies in its first week, making his album the highest selling Hip Hop album in 2014.

Junior Drew Corsi is also an avid J. Cole listener. Corsi’s favorite song is A Tale of 2 Citiez, and similar to Balado, believes this is Cole’s best album. Corsi stated, “What I like most about the album is that it tells a story of his childhood and clearly shows his improvement as a rapper.” Overall, Corsi gave the album a rating of nine and believes that this is definitely Cole’s best album.

Cole’s recent success with Forest Hills Drive is only helping to improve his career and growth as an artist. Cole gained even more respect in the game by sharing his life before he was a B-list celebrity and, as Balado stated, “This album is one for the books.”