The impact of “2014 Forest Hills Drive”

Image from HipHopRealm.

The “2014 Forest Hill Drive” album by J Cole is an example of why music can be so much more than just lyrics and a beat. This album, released on December 9th, 2014, is one of J Cole’s best known albums, giving an insight on his journey to the music industry, and demonstrating the struggles that occured within his early life. Rapper and producer J Cole himself speaks on his album, mentioning he is a “bedroom artist,” or an artist who writes and produces his music in the form of a story from personal experience. “I was an introverted person, so that was a way for me to get it out,” Cole said in an interview with Travis Smiley back in 2015. With his form of expressive writing throughout his songs, J Cole has created an environment for his listeners to be heard, talked to, and related to when speaking on his own struggles and mental challenges. While interviewing Bryan Narvaez, a junior at Washington High School, a deeper conversation unfolded concerning “2014 Forest Hill Drive.” Of the 10 songs that build the storyline, “Love yourz,” with around 6 million streams, is one that speaks to Bryan. “‘Love yourz’ touches on a topic which reminds people that there will always be that one thing that might be ‘better’ than what you have, but you must love what you own and what you have, since it’s your own, something you’ve worked hard for,” Bryan says.

Angie Mendoza is currently a senior at Washington High School, born and raised in the Bay Area and surrounded by the Fremont community. With this being Angie’s very first year at the Hatchet, she is excited to be able to have the opportunity to write about events taking place in the community and the new ideas that will be brought to life in Fremont and Washington High School. In her free time Angie enjoys being able to go out and take in the fresh air while listening to her top music by her favorite artists. Aside from being “out and about” she’s also delighted by her time spent at home, whether it be taking naps or spending her time painting and drawing. Her future plans consist of being able to graduate high school and attending Ohlone college on a two year plan and major in psychology to fulfill her desires to become a psychologist in the near future.

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