Those who follow J Cole closely know that he finds it difficult to maintain balance between his celebrity life and his simple humble life. He took some time off to put his happenings into a masterpiece called, ‘4 Your Eyez Only‘. Everything seemed to be okay until the police shootings around the country and the various protests which followed it, it seems it snapped him awake and he honestly wants to test if his music can be a tool for change.
In the very first track, “Neighbors” he is begging the neighbours for acceptance as a rapper. While his neighbours see him as a drug dealer. ‘Change‘ could easily be having the best production from the entire album and it suits Cole’s signature flow. “Foldin Clothes” has by far the most intriguing concept and he shows that doing household chores and the daily, boring relationship stuff is how he wants to prove his love. My favorite track from the album is “Immortal“, he did not have a street life but he describes it in this track how his life might have turned out if he was from the streets.
The track which seems to be spinning heads among his fans is “She’s Mine”, J. Cole goes for a more spoken word style and recites an ode for his wife and a newborn child.
What I feel after listening to the album is that the very concept driven and will appeal to the listener on an emotional level and just like for Kendrick you do require a certain amount of intellect to understand the album. Do not listen to this for any witty punchlines , corny content or crazy beats, it is almost as if J Cole is inclined not to get any mainstream commercial success.
To summarize in a nutshell the album is deep-seated. In a genre being ruled by trap and a new school vibe it is not a word which you get to use while reviewing an album. The album is a treat and you should check it out on iTunes or stream on Spotify/Apple Music.