Via | Courier Journal
J. Cole, ‘4 Your Eyez Only’
J. Cole’s latest album, “4 Your Eyez Only,” is an intimate one. It unfolds like an old journal that’s been unearthed and shared with an audience of one – that is, an audience of you, or, more important, the daughter of a friend whose shooting death ties the rapper’s latest set together.
“Bloodshed done turned the city to a battlefield, I call it poison, you call it real,” Cole raps on “Change,” before narrating the final moments in the life of James McMillan Jr., whose life was cut short at 22. The fragility of life, particularly that of young black men who too often are felled by violence, shapes the frustration and desperation that permeates the album. It’s a struggle felt at even when insulated by fame and fortune, as illustrated on the powerful “Neighbors,” where Cole raps that any black man can be “a candidate for a Trayvon (Martin) kinda fate. Even when your crib sit on a lake.”
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