Just at the end of 2014, J Cole tore the charts up with 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
The album was fire, so not only did the success make sense, but all of a sudden the hip hop press was focused on Cole and what he was gonna do next. Not just musically, either, because he’s got a lot going on. From single mothers to Kendrick Lamar, this is what J Cole’s been up to.
In case you haven’t heard, Chance the Rapper’s working on his debut album, Surf. Along with Andre 3000 and Frank Ocean, J Cole’s gonna be on the album. Sure, Chance is pretty damn big considering he hasn’t released an album yet (well, an official album), but it’s still cool that Cole is gonna work with him, considering he’s a bigger (more popular/successful) rapper from a different region of the country who’s got his own shit going on. This shows not only how dope J Cole is, but how unified hip hop is getting.
2014 Forest Hills Drive isn’t just the title of 2014’s (second) hottest album (shouts to Cilvia Demo), it’s the North Carolina home where J Cole grew up. Apparently he still owns it, and he’s got big plans for it, and those plans aren’t for a recording studio. He’s currently developing plans for it to be a “haven” for single mothers and their children, where they can live for 2 years totally rent-free before another family led by a single mother moves in.
This is dope, and I gotta give Cole mad props for doing this. This will actually make a difference in the lives of the families who live there free for 2 years, because they can put rent money towards savings. It’s also not just throwing money at an organization (which, hey, charity’s charity) but taking an active, involved and long-term role to try and help solve a problem. Props Cole, and shouts to the hard-working mothers who end up living in 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
Rumors been coming out. Apparently Cole saw Kendrick perform back in 2010 and tried to sign him, but it didn’t go anywhere. Then, as everyone knows, Kendrick got real big, bigger than Cole. But there’s a lot of similarities between the two rappers, as they both got deep messages (according to their fans at least.) But let’s imagine Cole did sign Kendrick, and let’s just imagine they were working on an album right now. Here are some possible tracks they’d possibly be working on:
“Just a Little Farther”
This track would either be about a stripper working to pay off her student loans, or a revolution in this country or something. It would be real soulful and the hook would have “just a little farther” in it a few times, signifying how it’s a marathon, not a sprint. This wouldn’t be a single but it would have a real emotional video. Also Drake would be in it.
Kendrick and Cole’s last albums could have both been called this. This track would probably have a simple beat with a piano melody and soft drums, and it would almost be spoken word delivery. Lyrics would obviously be about growing up, probably as an outcast with mad bars.
Another emotional classic, this one would be a Black Star like duet where Kendrick and Cole switch off, getting increasingly soulful as they rap about the perils facing young people today. Using highways as a metaphor for life, they’d discuss how certain things are inevitable and how surprises always come up. This would premier on Saturday Night Live and be nominated for a Grammy. They would lose the Grammy to Iggy Azalea and Macklemore who recorded the exact same song 3 months later.
So, that was catching up with J Cole.
Dude’s been a busy man recently, and he deserves all the success he gets. If he keeps doing dope things like trynna help single mothers prosper, that’s even better. I’m looking forward to his next album, even if it’s not with Kendrick.