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Music Review: J. Cole-For Your Eyez Only

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J. Cole has always struggled with fame. I don’t know if he doesn’t want to be a star or if he’s just concerned about the pitfalls that come with celebrity. But in his latest album he mixes being a rap-tivist with trying to understand how his stardom is never enough to spare him from his blackness.

The album, for the most part, is a collection of songs that take direct aim at police brutality, mass incarceration (particularly of people of color) and pretty much all other issues plaguing black folk.  “Immortal” is a great example of this as it pays homage to those lost to gun violence.

He takes a bit of a turn to talk about love in “She’s Mine Pt 1” and “She’s Mine Pt 2” where he rhymes about (we’re assuming) his new wife and longtime love, Melissa Heholt.   It’s always encouraging to hear a rapper talk about his lady in such high regard.  Something that J has rapped about in the past is the is struggle as a rapper to not play into the misogyny of his trade (see: “Before I started calling bitches ‘bitches’ so easily”)

With “For Your Eyez Only” J. Cole is on the way to establishing himself among the Kendricks and Commons (content-wise) as a conscious rapper.  Though I love him, I still think he can do better.  But that doesn’t mean this wasn’t a solid album.

Score: 3.8

Must Listens: “Exchange,” “Déjà vu” & “Immortal”

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About LoLo (14495 Articles)
Lo Brewer is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she received a BA for her major in Journalism & Media Studies. She started her career in ad sales and corporate training and worked in media for over a decade at Viacom and Fox Networks. But in 2015, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career that revolved around her two greatest passions, writing and crafting. Soon she was writing for several websites as an entertainment, fashion and music expert. She also launched a small business creating felt crafts and Ankara clothing and home goods through Etsy. Lo is a Jersey Girl (in a Cali world), a self-professed pop culture idiot savant, a homebody, a hardcore crafter, a lover of all things retro & vintage, a thrift shopoholic, and an all-around silly MF. In addition to being a celebriologist and DIY demon, she is also a novelist. Her first, The Semester, was published in 2013. She hopes to publish her second book, The Apartment, in the upcoming year.