If you don’t know the story of J Cole, listen to his new album 4 Your Eyez Only. It is a tribute to his success as a rapper and significant achievements in his personal life. Cole secured his fame in the game, when he debuted Cole World: The Sideline Story, in 2011. Now Cole drops the much-anticipated studio LP that came at a bit of surprise and in the same likeness of his 2014 recording, Forest Hills Drive.
Cole announced the release of 4 Your Eyez Only during a 40-minute documentary titled Eyez that was released on Tidal. The documentary featured two mini videos “Everybody Gotta Die” and “False Prophets.” These songs are not featured on the album released December 9. The documentary also revealed a bit about Cole’s creative process, featuring his production team in the making of the album.
Recorded at New York City’s Electric Lady Studios, 4 Your Eyez Only has a soulful vibe. It grooves to Jazz instrumentation, emphasizing the sounds of violins, saxophones and trumpets. Cole also does a lot vocally in his forthcoming LP. He voices a concerning and relatable tone to major life events. This can be best illustrated in the titled track “4 Your Eyez Only,” when Cole announces that he has started a family.
I think this album is dope but is is a lot different than his previous recordings. The songs are slow and melodic. However, 4 Your Eyez Only is one of the best albums of 2016. There are some banging tunes on this studio LP.
The best song by far is “Neighbors” which addresses the hip hop stigma that comes along with the success of being a hit rapper. “I guess the neighbors think I’m sellin’ dope,” says Cole, eventually conceding to the truth. “Change” is another banger and the 2 Pac influence is present. There is also a dope song many should appreciate named “Folding Clothes.” It talks about the little things couples do to show their love and appreciation for another.
Cole is a very dope artist who always contributes to the community and that comes across strongly in his music. 4 Your Eyez Only reveals how Cole is an ambitious and passionate songwriter. However, the album has been called controversial, because a few tracks that have received a lot of attention after allegations of attacking Kanye West, Drake, and Wale.
Cole took an opportunity to build a platform and to voice his opinion with his latest album. He is making new strides. Combining excellent production with lyrics that live up to J Cole lives up to his reputation as a songwriter.