J Cole Forest Hill

J. Cole returns to Roc Nation with his third and most refined album to date. Dropping with no lead singles, no credited featuring artists, and production coming mainly from the man himself 2014 Forest Hills Drive strips back Cole's sound and shifts the focus from hooky choruses to raw wordplay, diverse sampling and emotive story-telling.

1) Intro (samples Sky Restaurant by Hi-Fi Set)

A slow, heartfelt opener with Cole singing/rapping sets the tone for the album, doing away with the sleek, poppy feeling of his last offering Born Sinner we know we're in for something a bit different this time around. Alongside the visual accompaniment of Cole riding around town on his bike, headphones in, this offering immediately shows a much deeper / more humble side to his usual braggy character.

2) January 28th (samples Sky Restaurant by Hi-Fi Set)

Forest Hills Drive: Live is the first live album by American hip hop recording artist J. It was released on January 28, 2016 coinciding with Cole's 31st birthday, and recorded on August 30, 2015 live in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Download Free album Zip) Support Us If You Love The Services We Provide To You. VOLUNTARILY Click On Ads (Advertisements) To Help Us Generate More Revenue To Continue Running This Website. It Will Cost You Nothing, Just Consider It As Your Own Little Way Of Pushing. 2014 Forest Hills Drive is a Classic!!!! J Cole is dope lyricist and perfect story teller. He narrates his life in a nostalgic manner that allows the listener to be pulled into his world. We live his truth through his words and timeless beats. He is the complete performer. This live version is a wonderful edition to an already historic album. Cole is certainly one of those artists, and he stayed true to the blueprint with his latest release 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Forest Hills Drive is the street that Mr. Jermaine Cole was raised.

The first sample flip of the LP with some airy vocal samples and guitar licks from an obscure 70s Japanese record providing the backdrop and in what seems to be a deliberate theme across the record as Cole lets his lyrics, particularly the verses, take the forefront. His comments and support of the recent civil unrest in America have been showcased previously in his Michael Brown tribute 'Be Free', but it's his rhyme here that feels particularly poignant given the current situation in Ferguson and across the states

'What's the price for a black man life?
I check the toe tag, not one zero in sight'

3) Wet Dreamz (samples 'Mariya' by Family Circle and 'Impeach the President' by The Honey Drippers)

Cole comes through with a classically executed combo of boom-bap drums from the anthemic Impeach break and a chopped soul record from Family Circle. However, the track doesn't meet its full potential due to the lyrical content which is something of a mismatch as Cole elaborately describes how he lost his virginity as a younger man.

4) 03' Adolescence (samples 'Here's That Rainy Day' by Sonia Rosa feat. Yuji Ohno and interpolates 'Runnin' (Dying to Live)' by 2Pac feat. The Notorious B.I.G.)

Another great sample flip of an atmospheric, string section from Sonia Rosa with production from Willie B carries this track as Cole describes his experiences graduating from high school, replaying classic lines from Biggie and getting turned away by a drug dealer for having too much potential.

5) A Tale Of 2 Citiez (samples 'Blocka' by Pusha T)

Vinylz delivers the hardest beat of the record so far, as Cole kicks things up a notch. A simple but effective chorus ('Hands in the air' x4) shows he's aiming squarely for the club with this one, but in general it feels quite derivative of some of the ground Drake and more specifically 40 covered in 2013's Nothing Was The Same.

6) Fire Squad (samples 'Heart Breaker' by Aguaturbia, 'Midnight Theme' by Manzel and 'Long Red' by Mountain)

J. Cole joined by Vinylz on the buttons again and the pace remains high as a deliciously crunchy drum beat from Manzel rides a snarling bassline and guitar hook a Chilean psychedelic rock track by Aguaturbia, along-with saturated vocal chops from Mountain's much plundered 'Long Red'. Cole fires some shots here addressing the current trend of white appropriation of Hip Hop culture, specifically pointing fingers at Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Macklemore and Iggy Azelea but caveats it with a 'Just playin' which does slightly detract from his conviction.

7) St. Tropez (samples 'That's All Right With Me' by Esther Phillips, 'Hollywood' by Rufus & Chaka Khan and 'Sister Sanctified' by Stanley Turrentine)

My personal favourite flip of the album comes from the strikingly melodic Esther Phillips sample Cole loops up here (more well known from the Mobb Deep use) and embellishes with sung passages, additional strings, horn sections and a rolling beat showcasing Cole's skills as a producer/composer as well a lyricist. Recycling a line from Rufus & Chaka Khan's Hollywood for the hook, he also beefs up the percussion using a loop from Stanley Turrentine's much sampled Sister Sanctified.

J Cole Forest Hills Drive Album Cover

8) G.O.M.D. (samples 'Berta, Berta' by Branford Marsalis and interpolates 'Get Low' by Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz)

Chopping up an awesome african vocal loop from Branford Marsalis, Cole adds a bouncing minimal beat and keeps adding and subtracting elements throughout which makes this track feel like one of the more disparate elements of the album. The hook comes from an uncredited guest (any guesses?) and takes significant inspiration from Lil Jon's party hit 'Get Low' whilst Cole discusses the drawbacks making it big and his new outlook on fame.


9) No Role Modelz (samples 'Don't Save Her' by Project Pat feat. Crunchy Black and 'Fool Me Once' by George W. Bush)

Opening with an ode to the Fresh Prince's Uncle Phil (RIP!) this track comes correct with another catchy chorus taking inspiration from Project Pat over a Trophies-esque beat with production from Phonix Beats but the real highlight here comes from a well timed comedic sample of George W. Bush fumbling his way through a keynote speech.

J Cole Forest Hill

10) Hello

The second half of the LP settles into more relaxed groove and Hello is another opportunity for Cole to sing from the heart with co-production by wonderkid Pop Wansel. By no means a perfect vocal performance but it's refreshing to hear him being earnest and straight-up with his intentions instead of hiding behind his production.

11) Apparently (samples 'La Morte Dell'erminia' by Filippo Trecca and 'CB#5' by Carlos Bess)

J Cole Forest Hill Drive Album Cover

Piano backing again but this time underpinned by a sample of Italian musician Filippo Trecca and one of the more memorable hooks from Cole along-with his signature drum programming and a loop of a break from much sampled Carlos Bess.

12) Love Yourz (samples 'Long Red' by Mountain)

Melodic piano loops and boom-bap drums float around with distorted vocal shouts from Long Red again with production coming from Illmind, Cardiak and Critical backing up Cole on one of the standouts from the whole album as he summarises the ground covered so far and stresses the unimportance of money and his focus on happiness.

13) Note To Self

Rounding off the album with a lush studio production bumping 70's horns, gospel vocals and Cole singing and rapping his way right through to the end. The track abruptly climaxes and wraps with the most euphoric moment of the LP, as if the school lunch bell has rung he bursts to life and begins running through his shout outs for the album. Admitting that he didn't hand in his thank you's in time to go to print with the CD, this final track acts as a credits section to the album and it's really very refreshing to hear a rapper on Cole's level talking so candidly in the context of a major label album.

J Cole Forest Hills Drive Tour

Perhaps most importantly Cole makes reference to the state of sampling in 2014, and we get the impression he'd have liked to drop this album much earlier in the year but clearances caused some delays. Happy to pay for his samples, Cole addresses the artists he's been inspired by and sampled:

'You was inspired by the world allow the world to be inspired by your shit, and to use your shit.'

J. Cole Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming Tv

He also claims he's going to visit the Supreme Court to resolve the issues currently surrounding the artform and we sincerely hope he'll hold his word because out-dated legalities should not be stifling creativity!