After losing his childhood home due to foreclosure many years ago, the rap star has now bought it back and plans on letting single mothers live at the property rent-free.
J. Cole should receive a whole lot of admiration for the way he is giving back to his community. The 29-year-old rapper recently revealed his plans to let single mothers and their children live in his childhood home rent-free.
J. Cole will let single mothers live in his chilhood home rent-free
"My goal is to have that be a haven for families," Cole explained during an interview on the weekly podcast series 'The Combat Jack Show.' "Every two years a new family will come in, they live rent-free."
Continue reading: J. Cole Will Allow Single Mothers To Live In His Childhood Home For Free
Sam Bennett's Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2014
10) Cracker Jon & 2Late - You Can Take The Cracker Out Of Croydon:
Cracker Jon and 2Late have been tearing down festivals and shows for a good few years, and 2014 finally saw the release of their debut album, released on the UK hip hop powerhouse that is High Focus Records. Cracker's unique and slightly abstract flow, along with his intricate writing combine with 2Late's funky, Redman esque beats, and the styles compliment each other terrifically. Jon tackles a variety of concepts on this album; in fact he tackles a variety within each song, and it's this approach that definitely makes this album stand out. He's one of the most unique MC's from the UK, and the partnership with 2Late is an exciting and promising one, and 'You Can Take The Cracker Out Of Croydon' is a really solid debut project, with a cohesive sound executed to its full potential.
9) Kev Brown & Hassaan Mackey - That Grit:
Rochester MC Hassaan Mackey and Maryland producer Kev Brown collaborate to bring us this absolutely sick album, entitled 'That Grit'. Released in November, this album has constantly been in rotation for me since then; Hassaan's intelligent writing and great presence complement Kev Brown's slick, intricate sampling and consistently dope drums. The Low Budget producer has worked with an array of underground talents, including LMNO, Has-Lo and Raw Poetic, and his production is always incredibly solid. This one might have slipped under the radar, but it's definitely one of my standouts from the year.
8). J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive:
J. Cole has been around the block. The hype and buzz around him has been there since he first appeared on a mainstream level, and his third album, entitled '2014 Forest Hills Drive' finds him at his most honest, personal, raw and effective. He's responsible for much of the albums production, and it really feels like this was the project he wanted to make. The reception to the album has been excellent; with first week sales of 361,120 in the States, making it the highest selling hip hop album of the year. It's a refreshing body of work in today's climate, with much of commercial rap recycling the same materialistic concepts and subjects we've heard thousands of times before, and it's encouraging that people are engaging with Cole here.
Continue reading: Sam Bennett's Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2014
J. Cole commands a lot of respect for being one of the few real and honest lyricists operating in mainstream hip hop. '2014 Forest Hills Drive' is his third album, and his growth and development is apparent from the instant you press play on the haunting and emotional introduction. Cole recently said that he doesn't care about reviews, good or bad, so I'm not sure he'll pay this much attention, but the North Carolina MC has produced a quality piece of work, with a diverse yet cohesive collection of thoughtful, mature and truthful hip hop.
J. Cole begins with 'January 28th', his birth date, and opens the album with lyrics about his early life as well as his thoughts on the recent incidents in America, alluding to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The lack of real content in much of the recent rap music is a concern, but Cole assures us from the outset that that is not a route he's going down. He follows this track with 'Wet Dreamz', which has an incredible beat produced by the man himself. J. Cole recounts his first sexual experience over soulful, crisp production, and the honest approach is something that works well, and is very endearing. He shows courage and a disregard for following the standard trends, and it's a much needed breath of fresh air. This continues with '03' Adolescence', where the 29 year old rapper demonstrates both his story-telling ability along with making clear his attitude towards the materialistic and indulging nature of much of mainstream hip hop in today's climate. 'Fire Squad' features another example of this honesty regarding his feelings towards the industry; Cole name-checks Eminem, Iggy Azalea, Macklemore and Justin Timberlake.
'G.O.M.D.' is one of the stand-outs from '2014 Forest Hills Drive', with a fantastic beat you can't help but vibe to, and with Cole demonstrating his radio-friendly ability to full potential, whilst remaining relevant, unique and engaging. Cole really demonstrates his production talents on this album, being at least partly responsible for 10 of the 13 tracks. 'No Role Modelz' is a dope track, Cole makes points about the lack of figureheads, incorporating a well-placed George Bush sample. 'Hello' showcases an effective combination of Cole's vocal ability and consistent flow, and this continues in 'Apparently'. 'Love Yourz' is yet another highlight, featuring Cole spitting confidently about his realizations in what's important in life. The closer, 'Note To Self', is a 14 minute long list of thank yous, closing the album off in Kanye style.
Continue reading: J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive Album Review
We hit the Minnesota music scene in the run-up to Jay-Z's new summer festival.
Budweiser Made In America Press Conference at Los Angeles City Hall on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California - Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Budweiser
Budweiser Made in America festival is on its way and, to celebrate, the beer brand unveil a series of music documentaries in different States: this week we explore Minnesota!
Being such a huge part of the world, America has always borne a massively diverse music ethos. In almost every part of the country you can come across a different musical culture and it's with this idea in mind that world famous rap star Jay-Z decided to create Budweiser Made in America festival. It's sole purpose is to bring together a choice selection of both up-and-coming and well-established artists spanning all genres including rock, hip hop, R&B, electronic, punk... the list goes on.