On Friday, December 9th hip hop artist J. Cole released a surprise album titled 4 Your Eyez Only. The album is Cole’s fourth studio album. The moment the mysterious album released it rocked social media. 4 Your Eyez Only ranked as the number one trending topic literally all day long. In this day and age trending holds value because trending reveals the amount of people commenting about the album on the spot, in a very live and direct way. I’ve always believed in J Cole’s music and lyricism, so I already knew there was a chance Cole’s album was going to be of great quality, but when I listened to the album on December 10th, I realized 4 Your Eyez Only was not only of good quality, but a true example of a fearless masterpiece. 4 Your Eyez Only gives a different vibe from Cole’s previous albums. This album you sense growth and candidness. J Cole’s album has a mixture of poetry and imagery. The album has legendary influence. J Cole’s lyrics are both compelling and relate-able. 4 Your Eyez Only is an open letter to numerous sources. “4 Your Eyez Only”, “She’s Mine Parts 1 &2” are letters to his daughter. 4 Your Eyez Only is a song where J. Cole truly takes us into his mind. In this song, J Cole leaves a lyrical time capsule for his daughter. This song captivates the true concept of a father educating and protecting his daughter throughout life, whether he’s on this earth or not. 4 Your Eyez Only is a song for his daughter to listen to in the future when she get’s older and to not only feel a connection to her father, but also understand her father’s life choices. The song touched my soul. These lyrics really set the inspiring tone for the song “Your probably grown now so this song’ll hit you, if your hearing this, unfortunately means that I’m no longer with you in the physical, Not even sure if I believe in God but because your still alive, He got me prayin’ that the spiritual is real…” hearing those lyrics, I instantly thought this song is imperfectly beautiful. In a time in hip hop music where people are singing and mumbling about turnin’ up and wasting money, J Cole creates a song that is intimate and heartfelt for his daughter. A timeless piece of art for his child. This song and overall album symbolizes the authentic definition of beauty. 4 Your Eyez Only actually in a way reminded me of Tupac’s timeless song “Dear Mama.” Dear Mama was an open letter from Tupac to his mother Afeni Shakur. Tupac talked about how imperfect he was, and thankful he was for having a mother who sacrificed so much for him, and accepted him regardless of his flaws. Pac’s love for his mother was truly gracious beauty. J Cole’s love for his daughter embodies gracious, gallant beauty. J Cole also wrote an open letter to society and the African American community. Two songs on the album really got up close and personal about the problems in our society. One thing that is so special about J.Cole is his drive and determination to educate the mind, and instill knowledge into the brains of minority youth. The sixth song on the album called “Change” truly can make a change. This track is about self improvement. In the song Change, J Cole discusses the oppression African Americans face in American society, and the stereotype black people are unfortunately at times linked to. Cole is saying don’t give into those stereotypes, don’t fall to the waste side and fall into the trap of destruction. Change yourself. Change your energy. Change from within. The only way to progress and improve is to change your environment and to change your thoughts. The song “Neighbors” is an influential track that is one word, powerful. In the song, J Cole is talking about living lavishly and escaping from the world around him and moving to a serene, secluded place. Let me paint the picture for you. In this neighborhood, there’s rich white people all around. The neighborhood’s probably quiet, and extremely expensive. Picture African American’s moving to this neighborhood. In this neighborhood, the Caucasian neighbors look confused wondering “How can this black person live in this neighborhood? He must be selling dope?” The hook in the song goes “I guess the neighbor’s think I’m sellin’ dope” Also, in the song Cole throws a candid lecture at young black people. In the song, Cole says “Some things you can’t escape; death, taxes and a racist society that make every n**** feel like a candidate for a Trayvon kinda fate, even when your crib sit on a lake, even when your plaques hang on a wall, even when the president jam your tape took a little break just to annotate…” these lyrics were an insightful message that this generation needs to hear. J Cole is basically saying to black people, it doesn’t matter what your socio-economic status is in America, you’ll always have that brown skin. You’ll always be an African American and looked at as a threat in society. Whether your rich or poor, if you get stopped by a racist cop, do you think your mansion or fancy car will matter? No. America constantly disrespected our president because his skin color is brown, because he’s an African American male. Cole is saying our society can be racist, and it’s unfortunate because black people are born with black skin, that is something that cannot be escaped. J Cole had to observe and take note of our society and our country and to understand the world around him. On other truthful tracks on the album such as Immortal, From Whom the Bell Tolls, Deja Vu all capture J Cole’s dark personal thoughts, but also the hope he has for tomorrow. Listening to the album, I could tell Cole had a point in his life where he was mentally exhausted, and reevaluating the fame and lifestyle that he’d always crave and dream for. But, also I could sense a feeling of aiming to succeed and not to give up on his career, family and fans. The birth of J Cole’s daughter saved him. The love him and his wife share ignited his spirit. Having a beautiful new family gave him a new perspective on life, and through observing the world around him and observing our society over the last few months, you can tell Cole has inhaled fresh air and has exhaled. 4 Your Eyez Only is not only an open candid letter to family and fans, but the album is also a mix of realism and beauty. This album is truly going to make a stamp on music, and leave a mark on hip hop. J Cole still is and forever will be the truth. What’s your favorite song off of J Cole’s new album? To download/listen to 4 Your Eyez Only, you can find the album on AppleMusic and all music streaming sites.
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