Last Looks

 

J Cole follows up his critically acclaimed 2014 album “Forest Hills Drive” with his latest effort “4 Your Eyez Only.” The whole idea of a release date in music has been rendered obsolete as the anticipation just is not there anymore with artists. Plus with how creative internet hackers are it is very difficult to keep your project under wraps without it being leaked before the projected date. Also J Cole seems to have abandoned his radio friendly sound with a more personal style that he shares with only his fan base. With no singles or features again I dig the approach as it is different and make his projects seem way more exclusive. It worked for J cole last time around so lets if “4 Your Eyez Only” is worth taking a peek.

1. For Whom The Bell Tolls

Very somber way to begin this project. The album opens with Cole rapping over gloomy Bells that symbolize when someone dies. Cole wonders with all of his success is life really worth it?

2. Immortal
 Cole raps Real Niggas don’t die… as he reminisces on his early days hustling and expresses the theory of in order to be great you have to be late. Talent is never appreciates in life only in death and wonders will his work stand the test of time and be remembered after he is gone.
Nose Candy
“Have you ever seen a black nigga on the moon?”

“If they wanna get a nigga they gon have to send a swat team””To die a young legend or live a long life unfulfilled?”

“They only feel you after you gone or so ive been told,
I’m caught between getting heard and getting old”

3. Deja Vu

A cool slowed sample of Bryson Tiller’s “Exchange”, J Cole expresses how he fell in love with a girl at first sight but unfortunately she had a man so he hollas anyways stating that since he is a celebrity she should cheat because she soon will be tired of messing with small town niggas and he has bigger dreams and show her finer things.
Nose Candy
“Every saint has a past
Every sinner has a future””I can show you the promise land but can’t do no promises”
4. Vile mentality
Mellow sounds linger as Cole constantly repeats himself wondering  how long he will be able to live with his mentality of never backing down or refusing to take less than he deserves.
Style Ponts

Great story of a kid discussing the murder of her father

5. She’s Mine Part 1
J Cole gets his grown man on as he talks about his girls sex game being so great he is caught up. Nice way to end with the fade out violin.

 
Nose Candy
“Head game better than excedrin”
6. Change
This is  a stop the violence mantra as Cole spits that even though he lives a fast life God knows his heart and in order for people to cahnge one would have to look in the mirror.
He then states the senseless murders that have been going on lately has got to come to an end.
Nose Candy
“Most Niggas don’t believe in God so they terrified””I know I must have an angel because im supposed to have a halo””Fiends get higher the a birds eye view”

“My business don’t come with a suit and a tie”

“Blood shed a city turns to a battlefield”

7. Neighbors
Cole raps that since he is famous the people he lives around are uncomfortable and wonders what he does for a living to be in the same area. It is staring to freak him out so he claims he wants to go back to the hood. A great concept about how others perceive you.

8. Foldin Clothes
Cole embraces his new life as a family man as he talks about how he wants to do more for his woman and his daughter like cook, clean and yes fold clothes.
Nose Candy
“Niggas from the hood are the best actors”
9. She’s Mine part 2
I like Cole’s baby crying in the background as he spits about how capitalist manipulate the public into buying things they can’t afford to make them more wealthy and them more broke because of greed.
Nose Candy
“But if I had a magic wand to make the evil disappear
That means that there would be no Santa Claus no more
to bring you Christmas cheer
beause what he represents is really greed and the need
to purchase shit from corporations that make a killin
because they feed on the wallets of the poor”
10. 4 Your Eyez only
A great tale about how Coles feels about his daughter and wonders how his relationship with his daughter will be as she gets older and he is dead. It is great songs like this that transcend music as this is a song that was not made for critical acclaim or acceptance from the hip hop community. This is a special message to his daughter that she can always cherish and was a great way to end this album.
Nose Candy

“Life goes in cycles maybe you’ll date a nigga just like me.”

“If a real nigga hungry they gon eat your food”

Final Touch
 Hottest Tracks
“Changes”  “Neighbors” “4 Your Eyez Only”
Normally rappers will use the excuse “I made this album for me”  as an excuse for why their project didn’t meet expectations but J Cole’s music really gives that vibe he has transformed his style into something more mature and personal. This album doesn’t sound like anything that would be on the radio. His new approach to album making with no features and radio friendly music is definitely working as I feel it creates a mysterious buzz around his projects and dropping it so suddenly made the internet go crazy to the point that you had to get your hands on it.
It’s interesting that two singles that really got people excited for this project in “Everybody Dies” and “False Prophets” didn’t make the cut but even without these two tracks it didn’t make a difference or fit in with the tone of this albums theme. I don’t know why with this new grown up sound Cole reverts back to songs like “DeJa Vu.” That I am cool  I am going to take your girl flow. However that is what he is known for and maybe felt he needed a “work out” song that catered to his loyal fan base. Cole is at his best with songs with interesting concepts such as “Neighbors” and “4 Your Eyez Only.”

Death is a consistent theme on this album which is a major disconnect because at this point and time J Cole should be at his happiest with his newfound role as a husband and father.  J Cole is such a polarizing figure in rap either people love him or they don’t like him with no in between. Die hard Cole fans will call this  the best thing since sliced bread while I dont think he has won over his naysayers and at this point probably never will. In any event I don’t think Cole cares. “4 Your Eyez Only” is a great body of work definitely worth more than one look.

-C.H.
Advertisements