Before the year closes out, J. Cole will unveil a new album titled 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The 29-year-old North Carolina-born rapper announced the Dec. 9 release date via Twitter Sunday (Nov. 16), along with an album trailer taped in his hometown of Fayetteville.
The title is derived from his childhood home, which represented a come up for Cole and his family. (It was there that he and his brother got their own rooms, and a yard, as he recalls in the video.)
Now, with a trio of mixtapes, two studio albums, and his own record label, Cole wants to tether himself to the things that he sees as most important. “I’ve gotten to this point in my career and realized that, yeah I’ve got a lot more dreams and I want to go further, but at the same time, I don’t want it if it is at the expense of my happiness,” he explains. “I don’t want it if it’s at the expense of my sanity, or if I have to become someone who’s so out of touch with what’s real: the people that love you, and the people that you love.”
He admits to sacrificing relationships with his mother, brother, and longtime girlfriend to build his career. His focus has changed though, it's all about his family and friends. “I’m at the point where it’s like, 'Nah man, I want to be a better, son,'” continues Cole. “Spend more time with my mom, even get to know her better, at this age. I’m a grown man now. Getting to know her now is way different than getting to know her when I was 15. I didn’t know s**t about myself at 15. Same thing with my brother, same thing with my girl, same thing with my friends. Ultimately that’s what leads to real happiness. That Hollywood s**t is fake happiness.”
2014 Forest Hills Drive will drop without a lead single, and is available for pre-order on iTunes.
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(Photo: Roc Nation)