**Editor’s Note: J. Cole shook up the music world when he unexpectedly dropped two new songs & videos, a documentary, and the release date for a brand new project earlier this month. That’s a big way to makes one’s presence felt again. Especially since one of the singles (“False Prophets”) is said to be aimed at fellow rappers Kanye West and Wale. Though the tracks were not set to appear on the new LP, they made quite an impact and generated hype all the same. The new project (released 12/9) is coined 4 Your Eyez Only and one of The Illixer‘s affiliates decided to send over their thoughts on the collective. Peep what they had to say after the break.
Here we are in the month of December. With the Rap game being diluted with the likes of the new generation’s mumble Rap, we still have artists like J. Cole providing music with substance. His latest effort, 4 Your Eyez Only, comes off as a project that shows maturity and growth. This album is not his ‘most lyrical,’ though it is a very surreal album. Listening to this album, the lyrics feel like they are written not to impress but to express. This album follows Cole from suicidal thoughts to meeting the woman of his dreams and eventually having a beautiful baby girl with her. If you follow the album from beginning to end, you can see the story so vividly. Some of my favorite songs off the album are:
“For Whom The Bell Tolls”: This is the intro and the melody is intoxicating. Some don’t agree with Cole singing and no, he’s no Maxwell, but he can deliver good melody. It reflects on the pressures of being famous and wondering whats next, even contemplating death.
“Immortal”: This song comes in as a great number two. The beat is dope and the lyrics fit perfectly. Losing friends due to street violence, you can’t help but relate to this record. Cole speaks to us from his younger self from which he grew and learned. Turn this one ALL THE WAY UP!
“Neighbors” & “Foldin’ Clothes”: I grouped these two together because I can’t listen to one without listening to the other. The two flow together greatly. “Neighbors” reflects on Cole’s new environment. Coming from where he’s from to where he is now. Some people only view ‘niggas’ for one thing – being criminals. “Foldin’ Clothes” is about being a grown man in a relationship. I like this record because it makes me feel good. The beat has a funky bass-line that hits you right away. Cole speaks on being happy with just being in his woman’s presence and helping her do laundry and just chill, watching Netflix.
People will want to rate this with Cole’s other works. I like to view material as its own identity. With that being said, I will not compare this album to his others. I will say that this album is a good listen. You can ride to it, smoke to it, even have it as background music. I give 4 Your Eyez Only a solid 7.5 out of 10. –Ezra Winrich