J. Cole (4 Your Eyez Only)

Mr. "Platinum with no features"

By Alison Copeland

Album Cover | Photo by Sarah Olivia-Taylor (http://bit.ly/2iGtK67)

Album Cover | Photo by Sarah Olivia-Taylor (http://bit.ly/2iGtK67)

Minimalist, lo-fi and introspective 4 Your Eyez Only, is J. Cole’s finest project yet, but it’s not for everyone’s ears. With little fanfare, marketing or promotion, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2014’s Forest Hill Drive has left some “heads” literally scratching their heads about this double-platinum selling album.

What it lacks in bass-heavy, radio-friendly smashes, it more than makes up for with its conceptual and bittersweet account of life, death and everything in between against a jazz tinged backdrop.

From the melancholic opening song “For Whom the Bells Toll” which finds the North Carolina rapper contemplating suicide, to standout tracks like “Immortal”, or the 2-Pac inspired “Change”, 4 Your Eyez Only speaks on many levels about the disparities of living the American Dream as a Black man.

On “Foldin’ Clothes” Cole confidently declares the pleasures derived from folding laundry and drinking almond milk with his childhood sweetheart, and as you can imagine, the Twittersphere went wild with derision.

But perhaps the most important tracks on the album are the two-part suite “She’s Mine” and “4 Your Eyez Only,” where Cole opens up about his life as a married man and father (who knew?) delivered from the perspective of Cole’s late friend, James McMillan.

Emotive, clever and definitely raw like sushi, 4 Your Eyez Only is a testament to the fact that Cole is one of the best storytellers in the game, period.


At Good Read Magazine we do 2-week reviews.
1) The album must be at least 2-weeks old
2) The reviewer has listened to the album for at least 2-weeks. 

Unless a reviewer had early access to an album, we've never liked the idea of people reviewing an album the day or a few days after it's released. To really appreciate an album you have to sit with it. Let the songs play while you clean your house, during your commute to work, and while you're partying with friends. This creates opportunities to hear things and find meaning in a song or a line that you didn't hear the first few times.