J. Cole Talks Freedom, Love And Sparking Change On NPR Microphone Check | Interviews


In one of the very few press activities he is doing around his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive and a day before performing “Be Free” in tribute to Mike Brown and Eric Garner on Late Show with David Letterman, the excellent J. Cole returned to NPR Microphone Check for a one hour long conversation with Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest, and Frannie Kelley about everything 2014 Forest Hills Drive.


Some of what J. Cole, Muhammad and Kelly discussed in this richly insightful conversation include the inspiration of his new album title – naming the album after his old house, how his family lost the house through foreclosure, and him buying the house back this year, being creatively free and letting go of his baggage and expectations, “Fire Squad“, basing happiness on success and trying to attain something that is unattainable.


J. Cole also delves into the clarity of the album, cutting songs out from the album, Ferguson, “Be Free“, artists being afraid of speaking out about issues affecting Black America and the need for more artists to speak out, the chronology of the album, “Love Yourz”, the descriptiveness and clarity of Hip Hop music, the responsibility of Hip-Hop artists like himself and Kendrick Lamar, among other things. Listen to the interview in full below.




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