4 Your Eyez Only image

4 Your Eyez Only

Album by J. Cole
2016, 10 tracks, 35 mins 21 sec


Jul 22, 2019

J. Cole Writes A Biography

J. Cole returns after a 2-year break since his 2014 Forest Hill Drive album with another and his second Solo, feature-less album. This time, he kept the track list to just 10 songs and touched topics ranging from racial discrimination, mass incarceration, love, fatherhood, depression, and Gang Violence that is common in the African American Community. A Dreamville source, according to genius confirmed that the storyline in the entire album was a true story and that James (not his real name), the name of the character in the album was a real person and that he changed in the name for the sake of privacy. J. Cole’s storytelling was also evident in this album and it was at its best in this album, as he told a story all the way from the situations surrounding the community and circumstances James was raised in, to selling crack, all the way to him falling in love to him becoming a father, then passing away. It turns out that the entire 4 Your Eyez Only was a memoir for his young daughter to remember him by. The drama before the release of the album was something else; J. Cole had earlier hinted at retirements on two occasions. The first being on DJ Khalid’s Major Key, released in July of 2016, he featured on a track titled “Jermaine’s Interlude”, he hinted at retirement with the lines “Niggas murkin' each other in murky water, Ias try and swim. How the fuck do I look when I brag to you 'bout some diamond? Said all that I could say now I play with thoughts of retirement”. The second time was at an October concert in 2016 where he announced that that particular performance would be his last for a while. That was discombobulating for a lot of fans as regards the status of his career, only for him release a pre-order on iTunes on December 9th, 2016. Like the 2014 Forest Hill Drive, the album didn’t enjoy any marketing; listening party, social media hype, interviews and the whole nine yards. The album had its first single, “Déjà vu”, released Thirty-one days after the release the album; yet, the album sold three hundred and sixty three thousand (363,000) copies on the first week, making it his fourth consecutive number-one album in the United States. As usual, J. Cole didn’t get a Grammy nomination, but got nominations from Billboard and BET. By January 2017, the album was certified Gold, and was certified Platinum by April. 4 Your Eyez Only remains the most controversial album of J. Cole so far and he didn’t bother to address any of the controversy and let people contemplate until it died out.

Written by @OBP from Omobaba Pension




Album Info

"4 Your Eyez Only"



  • Dec 09, 2016


  • Hip-Hop
  • Rap


  • Dreamville
  • Roc Nation
  • Interscope


  • Jermaine Cole (also exec.)
  • Ibrahim Hamad (exec.)
  • Elite (also co-exec.)
  • BLVK
  • Boi-1da
  • Cardiak
  • Chargaux
  • Childish Major
  • Deputy
  • Elijah Scarlett
  • Frank Dukes
  • Ron Gilmore
  • Steve Lacy
  • Velous
  • Vinylz


  • Electric Lady Studios, New York City
  • The Sheltuh, Raleigh


4 Your Eyez Only is the fourth studio album by American rapper J. Cole. It was released on December 9, 2016, by Dreamville Records, Roc Nation and Interscope Records. The album was Cole's first release with Interscope—his previous albums were released by Columbia. The album also serves as Dreamville's president Ibrahim Hamad first executive producer credit for a Cole album. Most of these recordings took place from 2015 to 2016, while the production on the album was primarily handled by Cole himself, alongside several other record producers such as Vinylz, Boi-1da, Cardiak, Ron Gilmore, Frank Dukes, Chargaux and Elite, among others. 4 Your Eyez Only was released exactly two years after Cole's previous studio album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The album explores a variety of topics concerning the African American community including, mass incarceration, racial discrimination, gang violence and depression. The album also touches on other topics such as, love and fatherhood.
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