Review: J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
It’s a dangerous phrase nowadays, a concept album. Detailing a young man’s struggle with life in the ghetto, 4 Your Eyez Only is bleakly honest, bold and forward.
On ‘Neighbors’ J Cole recalls his own studio being raided, offering a sense of reality that has become Cole’s trademark. Continuing to buck the trend of the current hip hop scene, this release has no featured artists, meaning Cole sings many of his own hooks. ‘Foldin Clothes’ hears him laconically croon confidently for most of the song, and ‘She’s Mine Pt. 2’ sees double-tracking utilised to great effect as his voice echoes with emotion throughout.
With soaring strings, piano keys and brass experimented with on tracks like ‘Ville Mentality’ and ‘She’s Mine Pt. 1’, he shows how to put together a beat and track that is more than just your standard club banger; though that’s not to say that he can’t still please the mainstream, as shown with tracks like ‘Change’ – which boasts a brilliant Biggie-esque beat.