On March 18, 2016 a S.W.A.T. team raided raided a house that J. Cole was renting in North Carolina.
It acts as a studio and safe haven for the Dreamville artists and producers, which they refer to as the “Sheltuh.” Dreamville’s Elite revealed in an interview with Complex that a good portion of J. Cole’s now Platinum Certified “4 Your Eyez Only” album was recorded in the house’s basement studio.
The Sheltuh is located in a wealthy wooded suburban neighborhood in North Carolina, where Cole is originally from. During a stop on the “4 Your Eyez Only” tour, Cole told his fans the full story behind the clip of the raid that would later become the music video for one of the more popular songs off of the “4 Your Eyez Only” album, “Neighbors.”
Cole had this to say about the raid (J. Cole’s House Raid):
“But they didn’t just close their eyes and point at my house … why do ya’ll think they showed up like that? The f*cking neighbors. I wrote 19 rap verses about these n*ggas. I was about to drop a album on these n*ggas. I was mad as f*ck. But I thought about it, and I had to check myself because I thought that I was guilty of something.
Every time in this country a black man gets some money, what’s the first place he moves to? Nine times out of ten, he’s gonna be living next door to somebody who’s not comfortable with your presence, but that’s where we go anyways because we feel validated. What we won’t do is go to one of our neighborhoods, buy some property, build that sh*t up and invest it into the community. I felt like I was guilty of the same sh*t, and it made me write this:
So much for integration
Don’t know what I was thinkin’
I’m movin’ back to south side
– J. Cole
J. Cole tells the full story behind Neighbors. pic.twitter.com/oBpjhTT6kz
— Only Hip Hop Facts (@OnlyHipHopFacts) August 3, 2017
According to Elite, “having predominately, African-Americans coming in and out” of the house and occasionally smoking weed on the porch may have made the neighbors paranoid.
“Apparently what happened was, we were all in Austin, Texas, for SXSW; thankfully no one was in the house when this went down. One of the neighbors told the police we were growing weed or selling drugs out of this house. And there was a huge investigation, like a million-dollar investigation.
They flew helicopters over, sent an entire SWAT team armed with weapons, broke down the door and searched the whole house. Thankfully nobody was in the house. Our engineer Juro “Mez” Davis had just stepped out for lunch and he came back and saw the SWAT team busting down the door.
They go downstairs and all they see is a studio, and obviously they felt stupid. It’s just crazy ironic because out of anybody, they picked the wrong person. J. Cole is the last person to do anything like that. He’s out here doing extremely positive things for the community and for young artists. Because of obvious racism from the neighbors, the police were called and a raid took place.”