J. Cole’s new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive is the album of the people, for the people. Everything about the project, from it’s relative message of finding inner peace and happiness to the marketing and promotional of the LP humanizes the Roc Nation signee’s third studio LP. In the weeks leading up to his homecoming inspired release, Cole built a buzz by participating in generous gestures that felt genuine for his established fan base. Sonically, Cole stays true to his formula of combining catchy melodies with thought provoking wordplay and punchlines over self-produced sample heavy beats. The lyricist sings and harmonizes more than ever before on the project, a switch-up from his previous drops that shows off his growth and versatility as an artist. Despite 2014 Forest Hills Drive being his shortest ever release in terms of the amount of songs and album duration, his storytelling and soul searching makes the release his most complete body of work thus far. Cole has found comfort in returning home, simplifying life leading to happiness — metaphorically comparable to him making better music now for his appreciative loyal fan base rather than reaching with hit-singles and flex heavy verses for mass gratification. Think of 2014 Forest Hills Drive as a homecoming high school play full of motivating and meaningful monologues, and the soundtrack is definitely a candidate for 2014’s album of the year. Check out our track-by-track up next, and purchase the project here.