J Cole follows up his critically acclaimed 2014 album “Forest Hills Drive” with his latest effort “4 Your Eyez Only.” The whole idea of a release date in music has been rendered obsolete as the anticipation just is not there anymore with artists. Plus with how creative internet hackers are it is very difficult to keep your project under wraps without it being leaked before the projected date. Also J Cole seems to have abandoned his radio friendly sound with a more personal style that he shares with only his fan base. With no singles or features again I dig the approach as it is different and make his projects seem way more exclusive. It worked for J cole last time around so lets if “4 Your Eyez Only” is worth taking a peek.
1. For Whom The Bell Tolls
Very somber way to begin this project. The album opens with Cole rapping over gloomy Bells that symbolize when someone dies. Cole wonders with all of his success is life really worth it?
“If they wanna get a nigga they gon have to send a swat team””To die a young legend or live a long life unfulfilled?”
“They only feel you after you gone or so ive been told,
I’m caught between getting heard and getting old”
3. Deja Vu
“Every saint has a past
Every sinner has a future””I can show you the promise land but can’t do no promises”
Great story of a kid discussing the murder of her father
5. She’s Mine Part 1
J Cole gets his grown man on as he talks about his girls sex game being so great he is caught up. Nice way to end with the fade out violin.
This is a stop the violence mantra as Cole spits that even though he lives a fast life God knows his heart and in order for people to cahnge one would have to look in the mirror.
He then states the senseless murders that have been going on lately has got to come to an end.
“Most Niggas don’t believe in God so they terrified””I know I must have an angel because im supposed to have a halo””Fiends get higher the a birds eye view””My business don’t come with a suit and a tie”
“Blood shed a city turns to a battlefield”
Cole raps that since he is famous the people he lives around are uncomfortable and wonders what he does for a living to be in the same area. It is staring to freak him out so he claims he wants to go back to the hood. A great concept about how others perceive you.
Cole embraces his new life as a family man as he talks about how he wants to do more for his woman and his daughter like cook, clean and yes fold clothes.
I like Cole’s baby crying in the background as he spits about how capitalist manipulate the public into buying things they can’t afford to make them more wealthy and them more broke because of greed.
“But if I had a magic wand to make the evil disappear
That means that there would be no Santa Claus no more
to bring you Christmas cheer
beause what he represents is really greed and the need
to purchase shit from corporations that make a killin
because they feed on the wallets of the poor”
“Life goes in cycles maybe you’ll date a nigga just like me.”
“If a real nigga hungry they gon eat your food”
Death is a consistent theme on this album which is a major disconnect because at this point and time J Cole should be at his happiest with his newfound role as a husband and father. J Cole is such a polarizing figure in rap either people love him or they don’t like him with no in between. Die hard Cole fans will call this the best thing since sliced bread while I dont think he has won over his naysayers and at this point probably never will. In any event I don’t think Cole cares. “4 Your Eyez Only” is a great body of work definitely worth more than one look.