Though my opinion of rap artists and music has changed over the years and I find myself listening to it a little less nowadays, one thing hasn’t changed… I am still a huge J. Cole fan. I have followed him from the beginning and will continue to support him and his projects.
He recently released his new album 4 Your Eyez Only on iTunes/ Apple Music. But before it was available on iTunes, it was released on Tidal. Along with the album, he dropped a little documentary showing a behind the scenes look at the making of this album. He also included 2 music videos for his songs “False Prophets” and “Everybody Dies”. Check out one of those videos below…
It honestly took me longer than I thought to finally put this post up. I thought that I was going to be able to listen to it a few (or several times LOL), form an opinion, and type it up. But this album was a little harder to dissect. This album is pretty different from his last album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which is a favorite of mine. One of the main similarities between these two albums, though, is that he once again has no features on this. Of course it’s cheaper to not have other artists on your songs but in Cole’s case, he doesn’t need it. It would only take away from the message.
Cole is still very conscious and socially aware of the world around him, especially what’s been happening in our own communities with fellow African American brothers and sisters. Other than that topic, it’s a little difficult to decipher what or who he is really rapping about. I have seen people discuss their theories on who he is really rapping about and whose EYEZ this album is truly meant for. The theories I have seen include it being a mix of J. Cole’s life and a friend of his who took the opposite path in life, leading him to jail and later death. Either way I appreciate his story-telling.
Now, I will say that after listening to it for the first time, I didn’t know how to feel. I didn’t even know if I liked it, to be honest. The vibe I got was dark and a bit depressing. Cole sounded so broken and I wasn’t really used to that from him. But the more I listened to it, the more I got it. He probably is coming from a broken place but it’s much deeper than that. In the past year he got married and I believe his wife just gave birth to their first child. I am truly happy for him being able to have both of those amazing experiences.
If you aren’t a big J. Cole fan or haven’t followed him over the years then this album may be hard to take in. But if you are a music fan, or a hip hop fan, you should really give it a chance. Seeing this side of an artist is a beautiful thing. They are choosing to share a more sensitive, raw side of themselves.
Also, talks are starting to re-emerge about a J. Cole/ Kendrick Lamar joint album. That’s something that I have been waiting on. I hope it really happens though. But you guys know that I’ll keep you updated on that for sure 🙂
For those of you who are J. Cole fans, I hope you enjoyed the album. And if you aren’t or haven’t been a fan of his, I hope you gave it a chance and checked it out. Either way, let me know what you guys think of it…