Hey guys, Big Rich here with a review on J Cole's "4 Your Eyez Only" album.
There seems to be a lot of conflicting opinions surrounding this project, so allow me to give my 2 cents.
2 years ago, Cole dropped "2014 Forest Hills Drive", which I thought was a great album. Although I don't think this album reaches the heights that '14 FHD did, it is still a good follow up, assuring us that Cole still has a lot left in the tank.
The album starts off with a joint called "For Whom The Bell Tolls", which gives us a laid back vibe with some smooth vocals from Jermaine. It's nowhere near as dope as the intro from FHD but its pretty good (okay let me stop comparing the two lol).
Track #2 is called "Immortal" which is definitely top 3 songs off the album. The beat is dope as hell, and Cole goes in, channeling his inner Pac for the hook "real niggas dont die".
The next track is called Deja Vu, which I absolutely love. The beat smacks (love that sample), and the lyrics compliment the beat perfectly.
In this track, hes pretty much trying to get at a girl, confessing his feelings for her.
The album then takes us to "Ville Mentality", which in my opinion is a slight bump in the road. It's a cool track with a smooth jazz sounding beat. It takes us through the life and thinking of someone living in the Ville, but I can't lie it's a little boring. Coming off of two songs that I loved, "Ville Mentality" lets me down a tiny bit.
The next track titled "She's Mine. Pt.1" may be my least favorite track on the album. It's a slow, boring piano jazz beat with Cole singing a majority of the time about his love for the girl he met during Deja Vu. The hook is pretty wack as well.
That brings us to track #6 "Change" which I really enjoyed.
At this point, were out of the boring jazz beats and into a faster tone, summertime vibe type of thing. A lot of deep, thought provoking lyrics from Cole on this track which I always appreciate.
"Neighbors" is the next track, which I really enjoyed as well. The beat is dope as hell, with Cole telling a story of a man (presumably himself) trying to live a straightforward life, moving to a better neighborhood only to be constantly accused of selling dope by his white neighbors. The lyricism is on point in this song, reminding me of Andre 3000 for some reason.
We're then brought to possibly the wackest track on the album titled "Foldin Clothes". The beat is alright at best, giving us a 70's sample that doesn't really amuse me. Cole then gives us super corny lyrics, taking us through his new life with the love interest of the album. Shorty got him folding clothes and drinking almond milk.
Now that's true love ? lol, c'mon Cole.
"She's Mine, pt 2" is up next.
It's the same exact boring beat as pt 1, but the lyrics are better. In this track, he takes us through the next stage of his relationship, entering parenthood (apparently, he really had a kid) so I find it to be a more interesting perspective than pt 1.
The final track is the same name as the album "4 Your Eyez Only". It's a dope track with yet another jazzy sounding beat, except this one sounds more Hip-Hop (A Tribe Called Quest feel to it). Cole gives us quality verses here, talking to his daughter. He's reflecting on his life thus far and dealing with parenthood and the stresses it can bring.
Overall, this was a solid effort from J Cole.
I would have liked it if we got more beats like "Immortal" and less like "She's Mine", but hey.
The album can get boring at times due to the production and the amount of singing he does. I would have appreciated more of a focus on giving us quality raps.
As Cole fans would say, I guess that means I don't have enough intelligence to understand the album *kanye shrug*. It's cool that Cole can do it all on his own with no feautures, and makes all of his own beats. At the same time, it's a double-edged sword, making me wish there was more variety on the album. FHD had this same issue, but covered it up a lot better.
As for a rating, I'll give "4 Your Eyez Only" a 7.5/10, which I would consider a good album. Keep doing your thing Jermaine.