J. Cole’s 2014 Forrest Hills Drive has leaked, and I’ve listened to the full album a few times now and believe it’s a solid effort, where he continues to tear away from his earlier mainstream stuff. Cole’s lyrics are introspective, grounded, and on-point, yet polarizingly contradictory at times (he raps about how rappers are namedropping and pea-cocking in this rap game and garnering hype and nods from critics by having the most controversial material, and yet I feel Cole is adopting the same approach for his own album overall, instead of exploring his own, unique angle – smooth, lyrical storytelling over tasteful hip hop beats like this joint Jan 28th here). So it’s pertaining to this that I actually take off points from this album – even though Cole’s one of my favorite new-school rappers – and it’s also the reason why I’d rate KRIT’s Cadillactica (which dropped last month) much, much higher, as KRIT unlike Cole is forging his own path, and thereby keepin it real and FRESH! (Excuse the long review and I try to refrain from dishing longform opinion, but I guess I expect a lot from J. Cole and I’m dissapointed that he doesn’t realize his own rap-calibre and is resorting to Kendrick Lamar tactics of hyping controversy and shock-value music). The official album drops on the 9th.