While listening to a J Cole record, you’ll hear the talented MC talk openly about the struggles of being raised by a single mother. In his recently released LP 2014 Forest Hills Drive is named after the street he grew up on and chronicles the thoughts and experiences of his adolescence. During an interview on the Combat Jack Show Podcast, the Fayetteville native discussed his plans to turn the home, which his family moved to after staying in military housing and a trailer park, into free housing for single mothers.
“The neighborhood we lived in was f—ed up. 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.”
Eventually, after remarrying, his mother moved the family into the two-story Forest Hills Drive home.
“That was a mansion to me compared to where we came,” Cole said on the podcast.
When he moved into the home, he finally had his own room where he could explore his musical tastes and abilities.
“When I got my own room, I could do things like zone out to the music I wanted to hear,” he told Complex. “I could do things like rap in front of the mirror and nobody’s looking and I don’t feel crazy. I could do things like sit in my own thoughts and write my raps. That’s when I became more introspective. This is where I started dreaming the dream.”
Cole bought the home for $120,000 through his Dreamville Foundation, The Fayetteville Observer reported.
“This is the first house I’ve ever owned in my life,” Cole told Complex magazine during a tour of the home in November. “And it just happens to be the last house I grew up in. Y’all got to pardon the fact that the crib is empty. The goal and my intention is that some family will get to move into this place very close to rent free, and we’ll give them two years. Every two years, a new family will move in. Hopefully by the time they leave, they’ll be in a much better position than they were when they came.”
Cole told the podcast that he hopes that a single mother with more than one child will be able to move in. “I want her kids to feel how I felt when we got the house,” he said.