New album surpasses expectations

Cole speaks of deeper meaning

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“4 Your Eyes Only” album cover.

By Franklin Ngai

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ver since his first album release in 2007, “The Come Up,” J Cole has continued to show success through his music. Cole signed with Hip Hop star Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2009, and later released two more albums “Born Sinner” in 2013 and “2014 Forest Hills Drive” in 2014.

On Dec. 9, 2016, Cole released his latest album, “4 Your Eyes Only.”  This album is different from other albums due to the perspective and tone it is spoken from.

The album is told from the perspective of a man named James, who tells his story of selling drugs, falling in love and starting a family.

The album is in sequential order, opening with Cole speaking of his prior life of selling drugs and committing crimes.

In the fifth track in the album, “She’s Mine Pt. 1,” Cole sings of falling in love for the first time and reflects on his prior lifestyle.

“I’ve fallen in love for the first time, I wanna cry, and I ain’t even trying to fight it, I don’t wanna die. (I don’t wanna die no more).”

In “She’s mine Pt. 2,” Cole talks  to his daughter, and speaks of the happiness she brings him, using a similar line from “She’s mine Pt. 1”, expressing his love for both his wife and his daughter.

“I’ve fallen in love for the first time, I wanna cry, and I ain’t even trying to fight it, I don’t wanna die, ‘cause now you’re here.”

In the final track of the song “4 Your Eyes Only,” it is revealed that James, the main character, is dead, and the whole album is for his daughter to listen to after he passed away.

Overall, Cole’s album is more than a compilation of ten simple songs, but a story of much deeper meaning. In order to understand the full meaning of the album, every song has to be listened to lyric by lyric.

Cole has proved his talent once again in the music industry, and continues to meet the expectations of his listeners.