J. Cole Releases One of His Realest Songs Yet with Adolescence (Audio)

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Witness the re-birth of J. Cole. With very little fanfare, he has released one of his finest works yet with his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album. Contrary to what the title suggests, this is a return to the J. Cole of 2009–the North Carolina MC whose Warm Up mixtape restored faith in Hip-Hop for many fans at a time when the culture was “trapped,” and who caught the attention of Jay Z. Since then, Cole has had moments of greatness for sure, many of them coming on last year’s Born Sinner, but 2014 Forest Hills Drive is Cole at his best throughout–hungry, confident and as real as it gets. One song that perfectly epitomizes this is “Adolescence.” It finds a young Cole at the age of 17 idolizing the material things and aspiring to be like his drug dealing friend, only to be rudely awakened by some very real talk from the one he admires. This is the kind of skillfully delivered truth on wax that reaches that transcendent and increasingly rare level called art. Welcome back, J. Cole. Hip-Hop needs you.

Related: J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive Is Something Meaningful, From Jump (Video)