In anticipation of his upcoming third album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole gave Complex a tour of his three-bedroom, two-bath childhood home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he lived with his mother and brother.
“This is the first house I ever owned in my life and it just happens to be the last house I grew up in,” said Cole of the 1,698-square-foot crib that he purchased in June of this year for $121,000.
He showed off his bedroom, which he recreated to look like the room he grew up in. “I tried to get as accurate as possible, messy,” he said.
Cole used to rap in the mirror and write his rhymes in that room. “I became way more introspective. This is where I started dreaming the dream.”
He cut pictures of his favorite rappers out of magazines and put up posters on the wall. He begged his mother to buy him a beat machine and she eventually did, and that’s when he started making his own beats.
But despite all the fame and fortune that would follow, he realized that the materialistic things were only temporary, and the love for his family and music was the most important.
“That’s what buying this house represented for me,” he explained. “It was validation, it was vindication for them foreclosing this place [on] my mom, and it was also a symbol for me like I know what’s important. You can’t run from home.”
Cole plans to allow a family to move in to the house “very close to rent free” every two years.
Take a trip down memory lane with Jermaine Cole.