Artist: J. Cole
Album: “2014 Forest Hills Drive”
Best Hype Track: “A Tale of 2 Citiez”
Best Hybrid of Rapping and Singing: “Apparently”
“2014 Forest Hills Drive” is a masterpiece in the eye of the creator, evident from the almost 15 minute credits as the closing track, and the numerous name drops Jermaine “J. Cole” Cole believes he has surpassed. Cole somehow manages to come off both humble and braggadocious.
Cole is quite talented as a rapper and likewise a vocalist, Cole has certainly been a giant over this last decade in hip-hop, and I felt he deserved to be on this list in some capacity. However, Cole has become notable for both his lack of features on his own music, as well as how his best verses happen to frequently be on other’s songs.
This album surely is heart to heart, and Cole is often more open about his thoughts and experiences than others. Even the title is a reference to Cole’s childhood home, (which was vandalized after this release).
Cole tells about his personal experiences and speaks on many topics, from how he feigned himself as a player in order to lose his virginity, to the adversities with poverty people in the intercities struggle with. Although Cole himself never experiences many of these hardships, he still manages to bring attention to the injustices surrounding them through his music.
Falling into the lyrically dense manor of rap, Cole and his music have unquestionably made his mark on this decade.