"You call it rhymes but I call it clearing out my mind," raps J. Cole on his masterful 2010 project Friday Night Lights. Six years removed from said project, this line still permeates for the North Carolina MC, and last night he made that for certain via his Tidal-released documentary Eyez.
At 40 minutes, the visual traces the steps of the "Love Yourz" rapper as he crafts his forthcoming fourth studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only. The doc arrives on the heels of the album's official December 9 announcement. Between working on concepts (at one point he looks to Disney's The Jungle Book for some inspiration) and recruiting help from artists like Chargaux in the studio, Eyez, like its title suggests, invites fans in for an inside look at the making of what can arguably be considered thee most anticipated album release of the remaining year.
In addition to crafting the LP, Cole also previews new music. As social media continues to rave, the Dreamville captain raises excitement via two new records that display his raw, devil-may-care lyrical deftness. On "Everybody Dies," Cole administers a cold PSA to the current rap game and pulls a few cards, rapping, "A bunch of words and they ain't saying sh-t / I hate these rappers, especially the amateur eight-week rappers, 'Lil' whatever." And if that wasn't enough, on "False Prophets" he appears to take aim at Kanye West and, as many are reporting, addresses Wale.
Without naming names, he raps "I got a homie, he a rapper and he wanna win bad / He want the fame, the acclaim, the respect that's been had / By all the legends, so every time I see him, he stressing / Talking about, niggas don't f—k with him, the shit is depressing," raps Cole. "And I know he so bitter he can’t see his own blessings / Goddamn, nigga, you too blind to see you got fans, nigga."
As for the stream of consciousness that appears to be aimed at Kanye, Cole goes:
"Yeah, life is a balance, you lose your grip, you can slip into an abyss / No doubt you see these niggas trippin' / Ego in charge of every move, he's a star / And we can't look away due to the days that he caught our hearts / He's fallin' apart, but we deny it. Justifying that half-a— shit he dropped, we always buy it / When he tell us he a genius but it's clearer lately it's been hard for him to look into the mirror lately / There was a time when this n—a was my hero, maybe / That's the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take / 'Cause I believed him when he said his shit was purer and he the type of nigga swear he real but all around him's fake / The women, the dickriders, you know, the yes men / Nobody with the balls to say somethin' to contest him / So he grows out of control / Into the person that he truly was all along, it's startin' to show / Damn, wonder what happened / Maybe it's my fault for idolizing niggas based off the words they be rappin' / But come to find out, these niggas don't even write they shit / Hear some new style bubblin' up, then they bite the shit / Damn, that's what I get for lyin' to myself / Well, fuck it, what's more important is he's cryin' out for help / While the world's eggin' him on, I'm beggin' him to stop / And playin' his old shit, knowin' he won't top it; false prophets."
With all this clearing of the mind, Cole has the people talking and now Eyez can't possibly arrive any sooner.
Woke up to J Cole dismantling everyone. And I'm ok with that. #COLEWORLD— ADTheArtist (@AD_TheArtist) December 2, 2016
Cole's new album, 4 Your Eyez Only, arrives on December 9. Get an early preview via the videos below.