On Tuesday, J. Cole’s album “2014 Forest Hills Drive” officially went platinum — that night, J. Cole also shared his story with fans that came out to see the “Forest Hills Drive Tour” in Columbus.
Cole has broken up his tour into three acts, the first — “Hometown” — is series of shows in the U.S. before he begins a European tour April 30 for “Act 2 – The Journey.”
In his Columbus show, Cole gave us a detailed look into his personal life in a creative manner. He discussed the difference between Hollywood and the rest of the country, taking us through his journey with the same reminiscent and superior storytelling that is seen on his album.
He explained how he grew up with very little, living in a trailer park then eventually moving into — the title of his album — “2014 Forest Hills Drive.” He went on to study at St. John’s University in New York City, where he would go door-to-door handing out CDs. He described how he would leave voicemails on record label company’s phones where he would just start rapping to showcase his talent and try to get their attention.
Cole explains how from the outside looking in, we see celebrities living lavishly and we buy into this lifestyle that’s being portrayed so we all want to live like that. When Cole jumped over, he noticed that money and the Hollywood lights only brought him fake happiness.
Throughout the album and on this tour, Cole is running back to the fence to tell us that this perfect life we see isn’t real. Often, “those guys” are miserable because “What do we have that they don’t got?” On cue, the crowd exclaimed, “Love!”
While he’s still signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, J. Cole also has his own label, Dreamville, and labelmates Omen, Cozz and Bas opened up the show. They got the sold out crowd going early by playing a few of their own hits, along with throwing out t-shirts and chanting “we made it.”
Cole courageously proceeded to play his latest album from front to back, which the crowd was ecstatic to hear. For the hardcore “Day One” fans, he provided brief intermissions to play some of his older tracks.
The crowd was fired up to hear songs like “January 28th” and “Fire Squad” that reflect on his superiority in the rap game. On these songs, he claims “Cole the God” and he goes “toe-to-toe with the giants.”
Throughout the concert, he connected with the crowd through his witty and comedic stage banter in between songs. He constantly reminded us that love and happiness are the most important things in life.
The close-packed venue at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion provided a feeling of intimacy as Cole unveiled his life story.
Before the stage went dark for the first time, Cole played moving songs like “Apparently” and “Love Yourz.”
After the crowd called for an encore, Cole came back out to perform his biggest hits including “Can’t Get Enough” and “Power Trip.” To end the show, he thanked the fans for coming out and reiterated the message of genuine love and happiness.
Whether you were a new fan or a hardcore fan, J. Cole’s concert excelled in reaching all audiences.