Since the release of 4 your eyez only last week, fans have been speculating what it means and how it relates to the rapper's own life. Some theories even say that the album is about a friend who died.
The polarizing rapper J. Cole is a powerful voice in modern rap, able to speak on issues that most rappers won't. He's a great example of a rapper who can transcend the common tropes of mainstream rap and talk about important social issues like racism and violence in the black community.
But he also has a tendency to eschew the noise of mainstream hip hop, creating a melancholic sound with organic instrumentation. On this record, he's eschewing the heavy bass ridden tracks of 2014 Forest Hills Drive and has instead gone for more somber, stripped down beats that seem to be indicative of his worry.
There is something so raw about 4 your eyez only, it feels like a true depiction of what it's like to be a black man in the 21st century. Whether it's Cole's own journey through the South, or his friend's death, the lyrical themes on 4 your eyez only reflect a real world that many people in the black community live every day.
And in a time when rappers are increasingly relying on gimmicks and cliches to get attention, 4 your eyez only is an honest and purposeful depiction of what it's like for black men in the modern world. It's beautiful and meaningful, and it's a record that is sure to be listened to.