2014 was an interesting time for hip-hop. There were rap artists that we play daily now that were cementing their spots, with many of the musicians on this list only touching the cusp of some of the best music in their careers. One standout project in 2014 was J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The title derives from his street address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he grew up with his mother, his brother, and his stepfather, He would later purchase his childhood home and turn it into free housing for single mothers.
In an interview in 2015, he explained what his ideal situation would be for a family to live there.
“So every two years a new family will come in, they live rent-free. The idea is that it’s a single mother with multiple kids, and she’s coming from a place where all her kids is sharing a room,” he explained.
He went on to add that he wants “kids to feel how I felt when we got to the house.”
2014 Forest Hills Drive was purchased through his Dreamville Foundation for $120,000 and was the rapper’s first home he ever purchased. He later told Complex it was in his room where he learned he began his passion for music.
“I could do things like sit in my own thoughts and write my raps. That’s when I became more introspective. This is where I started dreaming the dream.”
J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive
As for the album, it is the rapper’s third studio album which had several hits that are still staples in his discography such as “Apparently,” “Wet Dreamz,” “No Role Modelz,” “Love Yourz.” The album is a coming-of-age tale for Cole as he describes his upbringing, first crushes, and how he sees himself being implanted into the music industry in the future.
Take a look at 2014 Forest Hills Drive as well as other albums that were released in 2014: