REVIEW: J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only
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J. Cole is known for his powerful lyrics and classic beats. His newest album, “4 Your Eyez Only” came out on December 9th, 2016, two years after his album 2014 “Forest Hills Drive” came out. The album features ten songs that tell an emotional story of fictional character, James.
James was a real friend of Cole’s, but the name was changed for privacy. The album follows James as he sells drugs, falls in love, and starts his family. Thorughout his journey he experiences racism, violence, and love that goes on within his community.
When he falls in love, James begins to change. She’s Mine Pt. 1 is a love song about, well, falling in love for the first time. This is followed by the song Change where James is hopeful for a better life. However, James dies at age twenty-two before he can turn his life around for his family.
During the last song it is revealed that the whole album was created for his daughter to listen to after he has died. 4 Your Eyez Only is an emotional track where James directly addresses his daughter, foreshadowing his own death and giving her advice and love he couldn’t while alive. The perspecitive switches back to Cole towards the end of the song, where he talks about his friend and their strong almost brother-like relationship.
The album is overall pretty emotional, featuring a few upbeat songs to contrast. Although met with fairly harsh criticism, I really enjoyed the album. I loved the music and it’s even better that it comes with such a powerful and personal back story.
A few of my favorite songs are She’s Mine Pt. 1, Neighbors, and For Whom The Bell Tolls. I give this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.