Album Review                   :               FOREST HILL DRIVE

Artist                                     :               J. COLE

Genre                                   :               HIP HOP / RAP / R AND B

Date of Released             :               2014

My curiosity in this record is all about the song “Note To Myself.”  I have a blog entry in my other blog which is “Memo To Myself” (which you can read here ( )and I wanted to know if the singer and I have similar ideas.  But, it took quite a long time to reach the song as it was placed at the end of the record.

Let us begin with the intro song which has the following lyrics repeated at the beginning of the song “do you wanna, do you wanna be happy.”  You will think that this song will set the tone for the whole album.  There is that notion that this is a happy album because of the trippy atmosphere the song has.

The song “Jan 28th” might be a personal homage to an event as it talks about murder and freedom of OJ Simpson and his lawyer.  It is a happy song considering that the rap is without anger and madness in terms of delivery.  There is no need to emphasize how happiness is emphasized in the song “Wet Dreamz,” from the title alone you can deduce how it is.  “Adolescence” is a happy song when you learn that the singer was glad he is still alive despite living in dangerous environment and lacking in confidence.  “A Tale of 2 Citiez” is of course another happy song as it talked about dreams; realistic dreams.

The intro music for “Fire Squad” might make you conclude that there is a shift in theme and context in the album as it has a musical arrangement akin to soundtracks in crime movies.  Indeed, the song is not a happy song but rather a thesis on crime and control between gangs and their leaders.  While “St Tropez” is quite sad as J. Cole raps about giving up a bright future for the sake of love, it is a happy song when he finally declared that going to Hollywood is better if the girl does not want him.

“G O M D” is the kind of song that is never absent among hip hop and rap artist; glorifying  their egos to the point of killing someone just to prove something. “No Role Modelz” is quite a confusing song as it raps about a girl who do not want to be saved and at the same time J. Cole is talking about how he rose above from his negative environment; definitely not a happy song.  There is nothing much with “Hello” as it is just about recalling past moments and J. Cole did not give specific details about the things that he did with his lover and why he won’t wait forever.

Because this is supposed to be a happy album, it should have radio friendly rap songs.  Fortunately, “Apparently” is one of those songs you can listen to over and over again.  It is a happy song as it is about someone believing in him.  “Love Yourz” might not be radio friendly but one can consider this song as his motivational song; it is about telling someone that no life is better than the others, it is all personal.  “Note To Self” unfortunately is not similar with what I wrote in my blog.  It is just reminding the self about love and how you can have it.

I can feel the happy vibe in this record and with that I give this album 3 stars out of 5 stars.  I could have given it higher rating but what prevented me is that the musical background is nothing exceptional.  You already heard the drum and bass program used in this record in o other rap and hip hop records.

Ratings Description:

1 star = Ignore it

2 stars= risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 = buy, keep, and treasure it


One thought on “Album Review                   :               FOREST HILL DRIVE

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