It’s the 11th of April 2017 and it’s a sunny morning in London. On the 9th of December 2016 J Cole released his 4th album ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ but until today I hadn’t taken the album in. It only took me 123 days.
I fell asleep listening to J.Cole new album but I will not judge it based on that..
— spotlightfirst (@ClubTolu) December 9, 2016
Since falling asleep on first listen (no shade intended) J cole’s ‘4 Your Eyez only’ was almost written off for me and it stayed on my Apple Music collecting dust.
In the time since then, I have taken in, in all their entirety, both Future releases ‘FUTURE’ and ‘HXNDRX’, Wiley’s ‘The Godfather’, and Drake’s ‘More Life’, amongst a few others, listening to J Cole’s ‘4 Your Eyez only’ just felt like hard work. That all changed today when ‘Change’ a track from the album came up on shuffle during my morning commute. The pleasant weather might have had something to do with it because the instrumentation of the track at that moment became the perfect soundtrack for the sun shining. Now I was hooked on the story being told. The lyrics were sharp and the flow on point. I was able to enjoy the music as well as the sun and in that, I finally ‘deeped’ what J cole was doing with ‘4 Your Eyez Only’.
I took my phone off shuffle and listened to the full album uninterrupted. Listening this time around, I found the story telling hypnotic and captivating. After Future and Drake’s heavy 20 songs plus albums I appreciated J Cole’s having only 10 tracks . ‘Interesting’ and ‘genius’ became words more befitting to describe the once thought ‘boring’ instrumentals. I finally understood why this album was labelled his best and most complete album to date.
Other than the fact that J Cole actually made a great album with ‘Eyez’ I was able to take away from this the importance of timing and location when it comes to taking in new music. In 2017 microwave music is rife, we are fed so much that sometimes we reject what’s good for us. In the words of Jimmy Smith “Only real music is gonna last. All the other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow”. So sometimes be patient.
Words by @ClubTolu