J. Cole‘s third and most recent album is significant, not only because it was mainly produced by the hip-hop artist himself but it had very little marketing behind it. 2014 Forest Hills Drive was announced a mere three weeks prior to its release, with no singles or promotion up to that point. But the album title is also symbolic and so very personal for Cole because it just happens to be the address of his childhood home in Fayetteville, N.C.
In 2003, the house was foreclosed on while Cole was attending university but last June, the rapper made his first home purchase: 2014 Forest Hills Drive. However it’s not for him or his family. Cole bought the home, which he plans to flip, to help other families who are struggling like his own once did.
“What we gon’ do, we still working it out right now, obviously it’s a detailed, fragile situation I don’t wanna play with,” Cole said on the Combat Jack show via Billboard. “My goal is to have that be a haven for families.”
It’s not a multi-million donation to a charity but the notion of families living “rent-free” for any given time is a stunning gift.
“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,” he explained. “She might have two, three kids, they’re sharing a room. She gets to come here rent-free. I want her kids to feel how I felt when we got to the house.”
Cole is also active with his charity, the Dreamville Foundation, which he founded in 2013 and provides school supplies to hundreds of kids in the area. The foundation also runs a local book club, which J. Cole visited last March to help keep the kids excited to learn. Some celebrities seem to have forgotten about their small-town lives because they like their new ones better. And that’s fair. But Cole, well, he’s in a class of his own. Well done, sir.