On J. Cole's third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the workmanlike North Carolina rapper breezes through nostalgia-heavy cuts about early sexual escapades ("Wet Dreamz") and balancing newfound celebrity with the realities of his hardscrabble youth ("Love Yourz").

On J. Cole’s third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the workmanlike North Carolina rapper breezes through nostalgia-heavy cuts about early sexual escapades (“Wet Dreamz”) and balancing newfound celebrity with the realities of his hardscrabble youth (“Love Yourz”).

Cole, who delivered one of the best Ferguson-inspired tracks in the streaming-only “Be Free,” occasionally dips into societal issues here (“What’s the price for a black man life?”), and it’d be nice to hear more of this blood spilled onstage when he visits LC Pavilion for a sold out show on Tuesday, March 31.

Photo courtesy of the artist