2014 Forest Hills Drive was not only the latest album for J. Cole, but it was also his childhood home. It was the same home that his single mother lost when they were growing up, the one that he bought back when he began making money. It’s also the same house the J. Cole is about to rent out to single mothers — for free.
The 29-year-old North Carolina native revealed his plans late last week for his childhood home.
Every 2 years, J. Cole wants a different family to live in 2014 Forest Hills Drive rent-free, so they can start-up their lives
— HIP HOP FACTS (@DailyRapFacts) January 28, 2015
According to the New York Daily News, J. Cole said, “My goal is to have that be a haven for families… Every two years a new family will come in, they live rent-free.”
J. Cole, whose real name is Jermaine Lamarr Cole, shared that he knows what it’s like to grow up without enough money. Cole shared, “The neighborhood we lived in was f***ed up. The reason why it had such a big effect on me is that I was coming from somewhere else. I was coming from a military base.”
Cole had been living on a military base when his parents were still married. When Cole’s parents separated, his mother took him and his brother to live in a trailer park in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Cole admitted to feeling pain for his mother, having to raise them without a man in the house. Cole’s mother was soon able to buy the home on Forest Hills Drive, before losing it.
So what exactly gave J. Cole the idea to do this?
Cole says, “The idea is that it’s a single mother with multiple kids and she’s coming from a place where all her kids is sharing a room… I want her kids to feel how I felt when we got to the house.”
Cole has been getting some press lately for his charitable works. According to BET, Cole has been “in everyone’s good graces” for “penning an emotional song in response to Michael Brown’s murder” called “Be Free,” and also for “randomly visiting fans to sign copies of the album.”
— matt ross (@trinidad_matt) January 20, 2015
J. Cole and his album seem to be having a great year so far, with sales of over 800,000 copies and a tour under way.
The #’s are humbling. It’s a win for all artists and fans and a clear message to the industry. No singles no features. Stop serving trash
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) December 17, 2014
And you can’t forget, J. Cole is also sharing the love this year by marrying his girlfriend of more than nine years.
[Photo Courtesy of The Stashed]