J. Cole

Daniel Pomerantz, Staff Writer

Most “fire” rap albums don’t have songs about folding clothes. This is not the only thing that sets apart J. Cole’s new album.  This new piece of musical artwork,“4 Your Eyez Only” uses double narratives to tell his friend’s life story through his own personal lyrics.

This 10-song masterpiece highlights Cole’s social awareness and street smarts.  He opens up by speaking honestly about him and his friend’s mistakes with relationships, drugs and gangs. Showing his vulnerability, J. Cole has a way of making adolescents contemplate their life choices, and what they may need to change. He speaks about hanging out with the wrong crowd, and how rap music saved him from jail. He also mentions the people in his life who weren’t as fortunate as him.  He also speaks about police, drug dealers and race relations in America.

One of my personal favorite songs from the album is called “Foldin’ Clothes.” The song is an ode to his wife, Melissa Heholt, and the couple’s shared love for their newborn daughter.  Cole essentially tells the love of his life how much she means to him and how he wants to do anything, such as folding clothes, to make her happy. And in a world where doing the “wrong thing” is common, Cole would rather do the “right thing” because it feels so much better. “It’s the simple things,” he sings. That’s what Cole wants. A simple life, after a fairly complicated life in his past.

The album comes to an end with a nine-minute long “4 Your Eyez Only.” Cole raps with raw emotion and remorse as he speaks to a newly deceased friend’s daughter after her father’s death due to his criminal lifestyle.  The song shows the protagonist’s determination to provide for his family no matter what the cost.