Label: Interscope Records - 00602557387766 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Europe • Genre: Hip Hop •
Most of these recordings took place from towhile the production on the album was primarily handled by Cole himself, alongside several other record producers such as VinylzBoi-1daCardiakRon Gilmore, Frank DukesChargaux and Eliteamong others.
The album explores a variety of topics concerning the African American community including, mass incarcerationracial discriminationgang violence and depression. The album also touches on other topics such as, love and fatherhood.
The album was supported by two singles : " Deja Vu ," and " Neighbors ". Cole achieved twelve simultaneous Hot entries in a single week. Promoting the release, Cole released a one-hour documentary by the same name on April 15, on HBOfeaturing music from the album. It had the third-largest weekly sales for an album in The album also debuted at number one on Billboard ' s Canadian Albums Chart.
The reception for 4 Your Eyez Only was generally positive, many critics praised Cole's songwriting and called it his best and most mature album to date. It appeared on several music publications' year-end lists. By the time it actually came out only seven people had heard the album in its entirety.
The photo that forms the basis of the cover art was shot by Anthony "Supreme" Thompsonwho is a photographer and a fan of Cole's. The photo was shot in an Atlanta neighborhood in September This Atlanta neighborhood was just going crazy!
People were running out of their house to take a photo of Cole and ask him questions but, there was something to me about this boy and how he kept looking at Mr.
Pitiful - Chris Farlowe - His Greatest Hits as he walked around his neighborhood. I can see in his eyes how much this experience is slowly changing his life forever! The young boy's face just stood out to me to capture. I saw in his eyes he knew nothing about J. Cole, but was somewhat amazed how everyone was reacting to him. The boy even asked Cole several times who he was. But, he couldn't understand what was going on Toys - Fly - Fly his world.
Cole and I spent hours one night looking for photos for his album cover but nothing seemed to stand out. Then a few days passed and I finally found this photo that I felt represented the cover the most to me to pitch to him.
The cover art was revealed when the album was made available for pre-order on iTunes. The majority of the album was recorded at a home and recording studio in North Carolina that Cole nicknamed the Sheltuh. Basically Cole rented out a house in North Carolina. We call it the Sheltuh, and a lot of the album was recorded there. It's basically a J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only in a basement, in the woods.
It's also in the suburbs of a pretty wealthy neighborhood in North Carolina. So you have, predominately, African-Americans coming in and out of this house. Ubers coming, and every once in awhile you'll see a group of us outside on the porch smoking weed. So J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only neighbors started getting real paranoid. Apparently what happened was, we were all in Austin, Texasfor SXSW ; thankfully no one was in the house when this went down. One of the neighbors told the police we were growing weed or selling drugs out of this house.
And there was a huge investigation, like a million-dollar investigation. They flew helicopters over, sent an entire SWAT team armed with weapons, broke down the door and searched the whole house. Thankfully nobody was in the house. They go downstairs and all they see is a studio, and obviously they felt stupid.
It's just crazy ironic because out of anybody, they picked the wrong person. Cole is the last person to do anything like that. He's out here doing extremely positive things for the community and for young artists. Because of obvious racism from the neighbors, the police were called and a raid took place.
According to Elite the title track "4 Your Eyez Only" started the entire concept of the album, he said:. That was a beat he found on SoundCloud by a producer who was pretty unknown [BLVK] and just blacked out for like 24 hours. He wrote and wrote and wrote to that loop.
The track "Ville Mentality" features a spoken interlude performed by a young girl. The girl was recorded by Cole while visiting and speaking with kids at an elementary school in his hometown, Fayetteville, North Carolina.
I had a idea of like the type of tracks he wanted, the sound and all that. I was just crafting a couple tracks. Shortly after Forest Hills Drive came out, I sent that beat over and he liked it and he told me to put it to the side and here we are today. They previously collaborated with Cole on the track "St. Tropez" from Forest Hills Drive. They provided J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only arrangements, background vocals and addition production on 4 Your Eyez J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only.
Similar to his previous album4 Your Eyez Only contains no features, other than Dreamville signee Ari Lennox who provided additional vocals on the track " Change ". Ibrahim Hamad Cole's manager spoke on it saying: "Cole's never gonna force anything. He's not the guy that's out, hanging out with rappers or in the studio with rappers all day. He's really in the studio with his team and making music with his producers and his artists.
J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only done songs with other people involved but Cinema - Various - Lets Go Party might not make the album.
If it doesn't work, Cole's not gonna Trampoline - Shocked By A Revelation it on there because it's a name. He's never gonna put it on there just to say he got a feature. That's just how it ended up. At the end of the day, the most important thing to him and to all of us is how do we get this point that we're trying to get through and how do we make the best version of a song?
Lyrically, the J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only follows the story of a young man, as he goes from selling crack, to falling in love and starting a family.
In the final track, it is revealed that he has died, and almost the entire album is a tape he created for his daughter to listen to after he's gone. He also discusses falling in love and having a child, which provides a source of levity for the album because after all, not everything in life is tragic. In an interview with Jon Caramanica for The New York Times in AprilCole revealed that the album is told mostly through a character that's a composite of two men he grew up with in FayettevilleCole said:.
On December 2,Cole released a minute documentary, titled Eyez via Tidal. The film features behind-the-scenes footage of Cole working with collaborators on the album,  and was directed by Scott Lazer. The first 13 dates took place in smaller, intimate venues, while the next set of dates took place in arenas.
DAri Lennox and Lute served as opening acts on the first leg of the tour. D and Ari Lennox. D and Ari Lennox as opening acts on the European leg. Entertainment Weekly reported, "The documentary promises to illustrate how their struggles over viable housing, voting laws for felons, integration, and more mirror the frustrations felt across the nation. Cole spoke about the documentary with The New York J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only saying:.
On January 10," Deja Vu " was serviced to American mainstream urban radio, as the album's first single. Cole never officially released the videos separately from the documentary, but all were eventually uploaded to YouTube by accounts not associated with Cole.
Upon its release, 4 Your Eyez Only received generally positive reviews by music critics. At Metacriticwhich assigns a normalized rating out of to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 75, based on 14 reviews. Cole's songwriting stating, "Cole has always been one of the most slept-on songwriters in hip-hop, and on this record, he's better than he's ever been.
It's only when he questioned his motivations that he discovered what was truly valuable: peace of mind. Cole's strength and comfort zone, perhaps a little too much at times, but the underlying concepts continue to add a layer of depth to his artistry. Pitchfork writer Paul A. Thompson gave the album a 6. Cole's fourth album, he wrestles with the fragility of life and the importance of family ties, he also sands down some of his worst impulses. No particular track punches through. Per Cole's usual, no new ground has been discovered—but in the right space, 4 Your Eyez Only pierces hearts.
Cole made another wildly popular, OK rap album—and for now, that's fine. Cole's best album. Cole isn't as restlessly inventive or innovative as Kendrick Lamar. He's also not A.D. 1928 - Styx - Babe The Collection charismatic J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only solipsistic as Drake. Here he smartly splits the difference between his closest competitors. The record is written from the point of view of the very people who the media frequently discuss but rarely talk directly to.
In its own way, it makes 4 Your Eyez Only as powerful as any of these other releases that have been held up by critics and fans alike. At the end of4 Your Eyez Only appeared on a number of critics' lists ranking the year's top albums. HipHopDX listed the album at number 20 on their list of the 20 best rap albums ofthey commented saying, "Brandishing polished storytelling abilities with the real-life account of " Neighbors " and the moving title trackthe Villematic undoubtedly forgot a lot of the energy at home at Forest Hills Drive.
Nonetheless, the succinct project was ripe for catalog building for one of the game's current elites. When he raps about doing laundry or being harassed by racist neighbors and the police, you know that it's coming from a very real place. It makes for one of the year's most somber—but rewarding—releases. This guy just keeps getting better.
Intro / Game Of Chance - The Twins - Live In Sweden, Right Now (Original Mix) - Various - Juicy House Beats Vol. 6, Following Coretta - Shiny Beast - Stop Looking At Us...Were Waving Goodbye, Coming Home - The Mission - Blue, Mistys Fever - Antikkka - Club Goers