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“4 Your Eyez Only” by J. Cole is Much More Than a Hit Album

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

J.Cole has never been one to shy away from addressing social issues through his music. On his newest album “4 Your Eyez Only,” he tells a moving story from “the perspective of a young man certain he’s facing death, and addressing his daughter, trying to impart whatever wisdom he can should the worst happen” (Caramanica, 2016). The story follows a black man’s trial and tribulations through addressing the reality of street lifestyle. The album follows this man’s struggle of being a drug dealer, trying to feed his family, and being a good father to his daughter.

Whether you’ve been a long time J. Cole fan or have only heard a few of his hit singles, this album is definitely worth a listen. Cole’s album exposes the very hard, telling truth that many young black men face; getting caught up in the drug game just so they can financially support their families. Cole even states in the song “Immortal” that they are being told to “sell dope, rap or go to NBA, (in that order).” He is commenting on the socially-imposed idea that this is the only way Blacks can be successful. So not only are they being caught up in the drug game, but also are being limited to what they can do in order to be financially successful. This mentality is a racial stereotype that limits the potential of Black Americans. Cole’s music is so much more than bumping beats and catchy lyrics; he uses his platform to deliver strong messages on issues revolving racism, social inequality, and criminal reform. And for this reason, “4 Your Eyez Only” is much more than a hit album. It’s music that gives a first-person perspective on impoverished Black Americans, and the truth behind their harsh realities. It’s a message, a commentary, a truth that needs to be addressed and acknowledged by society.

Check out “4 Your Eyez Only” on Apple Music or Spotify. Both include student discounts for music subscriptions! 

Also check out my personal favorites from the album: Deja Vu, Change, Neighbors, and Foldin Clothes

Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor