Over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, J. Cole in support of upcoming album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive hosted a private listening party for fans at his home and album namesake, in Fayetteville, NC. A known fan of 90s era culture, J. Cole invited fans to listen to 2014 Forest Hills Drive from Cole’s old childhood room – the very place where the ‘Born Sinner’ first dreamt of becoming a rapper. We’ll admit, having fans over to the house to listen to your new album before its official release, is a pretty cool concept, but how the listening party actually went was a tad different than what we had imagined.
With that, here’s how WE would’ve done J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive album listening party: as a real House Party a la Kid ‘n’ Play, with brand sponsors based on scenes from the 1990 cult classic film. Because what better way to pay homage to Hip-Hop of yesteryear while celebrating J. Cole as the culture’s future & present?
For any house party to be a success there are “criticals” that must be in place to ensure things run smoothly & that a good time is had by all. There’s Music, DJs, Speakers, Cups…”wit the ice”. Shoutout Rae Sremmurd. But Play & Kid, are the duo that laid the blueprint for house parties that start as quaint gatherings, and wind up turning into unforgettable epic evenings…a feasible blueprint that Cole’s Forest Hills Drive listening party could have easily
TOTALLY should have followed. Let’s get started, shall we?
Music / DJ
What’s a great house party without a solid music selection? Just ask Bilal. But since this was an album listening party, we knew fans would be treated to a first listen of 2014 Forest Hills Drive, courtesy of J. Cole & Roc Nation. No singles have been or will be released from the album before its Dec. 9 due date. But with turntable genius, DJ Dummy, backing him, we would’ve made sure Cole’s listening / house party music was turnt well into the a.m., blending only the best records with Cole’s new classic.
If a booming system is essential to any house party, how much more to an album listening party doubling as an old school house get-together?
If SONOS Wireless HiFi System sponsored the event, guests would have been able to hear 2014 Forest Hills Drive in each room of the house through wireless speakers. And Cole would have been able to control everything from song flow to volume, all from his mobile device via the SONOS Controller app. We’re sure that’s one technological advance Kid, Play & Bilal…especially Bilal could’ve used during their infamous throwdown. Shop SONOS Wireless HiFi System here, and catch the brand’s ‘At Home With’ series over at The Fader.
When one female partygoer asked Play for refreshments, he politely invited her to go to the store to secure her own food & drink. But if the party had been stocked with Hennessy VS & Budweiser Black Crown as 2014 Forest Hills Drive album house party should have been, then Play may have only had to point the young lady to the kitchen for an endless supply of beverages.
J.Cole is an avid Hennessy drinker, & given Budweiser’s close ties with Roc Nation, i.e., Made In America Festival, Black Crown would have made the perfect beer for the evening. We think Groove & Chill would’ve also preferred these to whatever they were drinking. Visit Hennessy & Budweiser for recipes & more info.
Guests can’t drink Hennessy from their hands, can they? Besides, what’s a house party without red SOLO cups? A 1990 cult classic film about a high school house “set” with underaged drinking & other revelry, that’s what. Though no red SOLO cups were on hand in the movie, we thought for sure they would’ve been present at Cole’s album listening / house party. Red SOLO cups are known by all as the unspoken symbol for “It’s. About. To. Go. Down.”
SOLO Cups, could have sponsored the event, allowing fans to experience its “Up For Anything” campaign, up close and personal during what may be one of the most private yet talked about music events of 2014. An official red SOLO Cup sponsorship of J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive listening party would have had equal commercial viability as say…this, no?
An emcee without his mic is like a writer with no pen. Play knew this all too well, which is why he tried so hard to keep Kid away from the mic before they eventually rocked the crowd together. But we bet that instead of Bilal’s old microphones with 50 feet of cord, they probably wish they had Crowd Mics. The app that turns your smartphone into an audible microphone for a crowded room via your speakers’ wifi.
Crowd Mics is the perfect solution for a less formal way of talking with fans or pulling off an impromptu performance. J. Cole’s fanbase of lecture laden college students would have appreciated the introduction, we’re sure. For more on Crowd Mics, check them out here.
Lastly, when it’s your house party you almost have to out-dress your guests. Play definitely spared no style or feelings in making sure he was the flyest guy at his soiree. Which is why Opening Ceremony‘s Limited Edition Charging Varsity Jacket with built-in Mophie capabilities, would have been a good look for both J. Cole & Opening Ceremony, given the company’s new foray into wearable tech.
This exclusive limited edition run of Opening Ceremony’s Mophie Varsity Jacket, can be yours for only $465USD, and is available for purchase here.
This is just what we would’ve done with an album listening party for what may be Cole’s most important project to date. What would YOU have done differently for J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive listening party? Pre-order the album here and look for 2014 Forest Hills Drive when it hits stores, Dec. 9.