If you haven’t heard, J. Cole just released a 40 minute documentary following the creation of his recently announced album “4 Your Eyez Only.” In addition to behind the scenes conversations and sneak peaks of songs, “Eyez” strongly suggested two main points about the upcoming album:
- On a musical level, “4 Your Eyez Only” is going to be have strong jazz and classical elements. A number of scenes showed strings, trumpets, and jazz guitars and keyboards (as well as Jungle Book samples?) being used not only as supporting elements, but being showcased in toplines. The tracks revealed in the documentary are beautiful, melodic, almost theatrical soundtracks, perfect for backing-up whatever J. Cole has to say. Speaking of which…
- One a lyrical level, there will be no pulled punches. One scene contains the following quote from J. Cole while he is discussing his career and the new album: “The next one might go down… you’re never guaranteed to be this high again… so while I’m here, let me use this opportunity to say the realist shit I’ve ever said.” And the music video clips show no less; whether it be calling out new “8 week rappers” or coming to terms with his idols experiencing a “fall from grace,” J. Cole tears into the personas/motivations of modern day rappers while simultaneously holding himself accountable for losing touch due to his success.
On the surface, “Eyez” is a cool window into the creative and recording process that goes into producing a new record. Below the surface, its an in depth look into what J. Cole really wants from this album, and how he aims to use his potentially temporary pedestal. Overall, it’s a dope way to get excited about an album that as of a few days ago, we knew absolutely nothing about.
“4 Your Eyez Only” is slated to release on December 9th; you can watch “Eyez” and read more on Pitchfork: