Double vinyl LP pressing. 2014 release, the third album from the rapper. The album was named after his childhood home address 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Produced by J. Cole with guest producers Elite, Ron Gilmore, Tray Samuels, DJ Dahl, Illmind, Cardiak, CritCal, Vinylz, Organized Noize and Jproof. Cole calls out white rappers Justin Timberlake, Eminem and Macklemore on the track "Fire Squad" hinting "history repeats itself" ala the Elvis rip-off controversy in the '50s.
The second studio album by rapper and producer J. Cole, released 10 years ago on June 18, 2013. Born Sinner features standout tracks including "Power Trip" with Miguel, "Crooked Smile," "Forbidden Fruit" and "She Knows." The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 and is now certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
J. Cole's fifth full-length effort, KOD debuted atop the Billboard 200 in April 2018, marking the North Carolina rapper's fifth consecutive No. 1 album. KOD - which stands for Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed and Kill Our Demons - takes us into a new world highlighting addictions of all sorts. The gold certified record is home to the two Top 10 singles "KOD" and "ATM." Cole explains the three acronyms starting with Kids On Drugs, "If I turn on the TV right now, it's not gonna take long for there to be an advertisement that pops up that says 'Are you feeling down? Have you been having lonely thoughts?' And then they shove a pill in your face. The first response of any problem is Medicate." As for King Overdosed he adds, "That's representing me, the times that I was, and am, afflicted by the same methods of escape." And Kill Our Demons, he explains, "That's the end goal: To face our shit, realize that we have some shit going on inside, everybody...whether it be from traumatic childhood experiences, whether it be from a lack of attention, confidence issues, insecurities. Whatever it is, we gotta be honest with ourselves."
J. Coletreats his discography like a novel. It's all leading up to something, themes and ideas are revisited again and again. His projects are littered with bars from previous LPs and mixtapes, building on a cohesive narrative about a young kid from North Carolina with dreams of superstardom. On Cole's sixth consecutive No. 1 album,The Off-Seasonthe rapper consistently references his early projects like 2014'sForest Hills Driveand 2018'sKOD. He revisits themes of sinning and acceptance, trying to live modesty while indulging in the riches his success has brought him. But he also engages with the history of the genre more entirely.
His deep understanding of hip-hop history, its key players, and its signature moments has allowed him to tap into the legacy of the game. No reference is off-limits. ThroughoutThe Off-Season, Cole references peers and legends, famous bars, and mythic stories. By referencing artists like Jeezy, Eminem, and Nipsey Hussle, plus quoting lyrics from Nas, Notorious B.I.G., and Styles P, Cole does two things. One, he flexes his deep understanding of the themes that have remained relevant over the course of rap's history. Two, he places himself firmly within the canon of all-time MCs.J. Coleis not only a rapper at the height of his powers, but the rare MC that can juggle the present and a growing legacy at the same time.
The Off-Seasonis 12 tracks long, and features guest verses from 21 Savage, Morray, Bas, and Lil Baby. Supported by the three singles "The Climb Back," "Interlude" and "My Life." the album also features a bevy of top-tier producers, including Timbaland, Boi-1da, DJ Dahi, Jake One, Frank Dukes, Tae Beast, Maneesh, Wu10, Sucuki, Coleman, Tommy Parker, Mario Luciano, T-Minus, and Cole himself.
9 5 . s o u t h
a m a r i
m y . l i f e (Ft. 21 Savage & Morray)
a p p l y i n g . p r e s s u r e
p u n c h i n ' . t h e . c l o c k
1 0 0 . m i l ' (Ft. Bas)
p r i d e . i s . t h e . d e v i l (Ft. Lil Baby)