2014 Forest Hills Drive celebrates its five-year anniversary today. To commemorate the occasion, Dreamville co-founder and J. Cole manager Ibrahim Hamad took to Twitter to share a few tidbits of information, some of which were previously unknown, about the rapper's third studio album.
Hamad revealed that the "platinum with no features" meme that was spawned by the fact that 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which was certified platinum by the RIAA while also being void of any collaborations, was a happy accident. They tried to get Mos Def to hop on the hook of "03' Adolescence," and pursued Future to have him close out "No Role Modelz," but both attempts were unsuccessful.
Speaking of "03' Adolescence," the song was nearly pulled from 2014 Forest Hills Drive over a sample issue, but J. Cole was steadfast in trying to work out their dispute because he really wanted that song on the album.
"January 28th" opens with a sample of "Sky Restaurant" by the Japanese group Hi-Fi Set. Hamad says they received clearance for the sample just seven hours before the final deadline to turn in 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
Given all the 11th hour issues they encountered with clearing samples, the logical choice would be to get the sample of a song cleared first before moving forward, but they were pressed for time. The album was called 2014 Forest Hills Drive and was released in 2014 on December 9. Pushing the project back to 2015 didn't make sense.
Hamad recalls first hearing J. Cole discuss the idea of naming his third studio album 2014 Forest Hills Drive while on the tour bus during one of the final stops on the European leg of his What Dreams May Come tour.
"Wet Dreamz" was recorded back in 2007, according to Hamad, but J. Cole sat on the record, waiting for the right moment. It finally found its place sandwiched between "January 28th" and "03' Adolescence" seven years later.