4 Your Eyez Only Review


It's Monday and although I could've shared my thoughts on J-Cole's new album "4 Your Eyez Only" on Friday when it dropped - I decided to wait and let it sit with me for a moment before I shared my thoughts.

Before I get started - I love J. Cole - ok, we clear on that.. cool.. continue.

Disclaimer:
I won't act as though I am one of those OG's that preach about needing to hear real hip-hop and I'm tired of the "dopehead" music that is out now... (well not in this post anyway). I too like my dosage of ratchet-mumble music. But there are some artist that understands the need to have BALANCE and I look for that balance from the artists such as J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Big K.R.I.T. to name a few.

Immediately after my first listening I wasn't ready for the ride J. Cole was taking his listener. As I should have known better than to think I was going to be able to shuffle through Cole album. I knew I needed a quiet moment in time to dissect this album and listen to the message that's always lost between the music.

The album story starts off with an emotional J. Cole contemplating rather he wants to live or die while tethering on the lines of right and wrong.   

Lord, Lord—
The bells getting loud, ain't nowhere to hide
Got nowhere to go, put away my pride
Tired of feeling low even when I'm high
Ain't no way to live, do I wanna die?
I don't know, I don't know
Bells getting loud, ain't nowhere to hide
Got nowhere to go, put away my pride
Tired of feeling low even when I'm high
Ain't no way to live, do I wanna die?
I don't know, I don't know - 

While not quit done with the ways of streets Cole finds his soulmate in Deja Vu and She's Mine Part 1. 
I know you were made for me but

Darling don't you wait for me
Cause I can see the promise land
But I can't do no promising
I know you were made for me but
Darling don't you wait for me
Cause I can see the promise land
But I can't do no promising [Deja Vu]

I must say the next track - Change - stole my heart. Directly and indirectly understanding the battle some have within themselves with Good and Evil. 


Yeah, my intuition is telling me there'll be better days

I sit in silence and find whenever I meditate
My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate
My faith don't deviate, ideas don't have a date
But see I'm growing and getting stronger with every breath
Bringing me closer to Heaven's doors with every step
As we speak I'm at peace, no longer scared to die
Most niggas don't believe in God and so they terrified
It's either that or they be fearing they gon' go to Hell
Asking the father for forgiveness—God, I'm overwhelmed 

(Please God, I want to go to Heaven) - [Change]
Halfway through the album Cole paints a beautiful portrait of Life, Death, Religion, Love, and Friendship. The happy-new-dad even opens up about his fears as a new father in the track, She's Mine, Pt. 2. 
Am I worthy of this gift

Am I strong enough to lift, into a place that I can see
Someone more important than me?
Am I worthy of this gift? (Am I worthy of this gift?) [She's Mine, Pt.2

Now somewhere between track 8 and 10 I realize that J. Cole wasn't just giving us a glimpse at his story but of a friend. A friend of Cole's who must have died in the streets and left behind a daughter. He breaks this all down in the last track "4 Your Eyez Only". 

"Nigga what you talking 'bout? Fuck is you getting at?"

He said, "Listen, I got no time to dive into descriptions
But I've been having premonitions
Just call it visions from the other side
I got a feeling I won't see tomorrow
Like the time I'm living on is borrowed
With that said, the only thing I'm proud to say, I was a father
Write my story down and if I pass
Go play it for my daughter when she ready"
And so I'm leaving you this record for your eyes only [4 Your Eyez Only


ForeverMeah says...Classic.