2014 Forest Hills Drive
Label: Roc Nation/Columbia
J. Cole has a fussy approach to hip-hop. His lyrics approach stream of consciousness as he shifts from his environment ("A Tale of 2 Citiez") and his rap skills ("Fire Squad") to his relationships with women ("Wet Dreamz," where he remembers losing his virginity). "There's no such thing as a life that's better than yours," he reassures us on "Love Yourz." He may croon soulfully but he's no sweetheart, and takes a dim view of "shallow ladies" on the unfairly cruel "No Role Modelz." He wants to return home to North Carolina on "GOMD"... if only he didn't have difficulty just being.