*J. Cole didn’t just use his childhood home as the title and premise behind his latest album, “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” but he’s invited fans into the place he grew up. in
He plans to use the home as a rent-free safe haven for single mothers with multiple children, according to the Urban Daily. He wants kids to have the same opportunity to live there as he did.
“I can’t speak for Atlanta, I’m not from there. But North Carolina is like this. That was my first glimpse of the hood. This is not Eminem, 8 Mile. Sh*t was f*cked up,” he said about his home when he was four. “No disrespect to people that’s still in the trailers and sh*t but that’s what it is. It’s very affordable housing. Very affordable. The neighborhood we lived in was f*cked up. I was a kid. 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. My father was in the army and my mother was too, she got out when she had me. Before I was 1 we moved back [from Germany] to Fayetteville, Fort Bragg.”
He added, “my parents separated before I was even conscious. After we moved back they were separated. When they got divorced we had to move out of the military quarters ’cause you can only live there if you’re married. That’s like real nice housing, it ain’t no mansion but it’s safe. Everybody got jobs, everybody got benefits ’cause they’re all in the Army. When I’m four years old we have to move; it’s me, my brother, and my mother and we moved to Spring Lake, a little outskirt area of Fayetteville. We moved to the trailer park in Spring Lake. It was my first taste of like, ‘Oh, shit. This is nothing like where we came from.’ I knew the energy was not right. I knew my mother was the only white lady in the neighborhood and there was no man in the house.”
Even after his mother lost the house, he decided years later to buy back the home where he had great childhood memories.
“Nah, I don’t really live there,” he said. “What we gon’ do, we still working it out right now, obviously it’s a detailed, fragile situation I don’t wanna play with. My goal is to have that be a haven for families. So every two years a new family will come in, they live rent-free. 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. 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.”
He jokingly added, “by the way, tell people to stop going to my house and sitting on my roof taking pictures,” he said. “And they stealing the fucking street sign.”