It’s been just over a month (Dec 09, 2016) since J. Cole dropped his fourth studio album “4 Your Eyez Only.” What are your favorite songs? I’ve decided to rank all of the tracks off his latest album, plus “Everybody Dies” and “False Prophets” which were released on his “Eyez” documentary days before the release.
According to the official iTunes review for the album, “4 Your Eyez Only plunges deep into J. Cole’s soul. You can clearly hear it in his voice—pleading, testifying, on the verge of cracking. At center stage with no featured guests, the North Carolina rapper speaks out on social ills, black lives, and doing the right thing in a world of wrong. The music is settled, filled with jazz touches and strings, allowing the words to become the focus. “Neighbors” and “Change” examine imbalances and tension affecting communities of color. “Foldin Clothes” shows that even benign acts can be a source of joy. The two-part suite “She’s Mine” may be the most important songs he’s written, as Cole finds himself overcome by a strange feeling: hope.”
The album tells a story and yes, it’s probably best to listen to it as it is. However, you know you have your favorite tracks and I do as well. Truthfully there’s only one song I don’t care for and that’s why it comes in last in my ranking. As far as the other songs go, well they were extremely difficult to rank. After much deliberation here is my completely subjective top five:
The top spot goes to “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” I can really feel his soul and his emotions come out on this track. I think the biggest compliment you can give a song is that it’s “too short” and that’s what this song is to me.
The runner-up goes to “Everybody Dies” strictly because of how he calls out rapper’s these days. Also, towards the end of the song I could sense a Kendrick Lamar type of flow which makes me want that collaboration album out ASAP, although it won’t be happening anytime soon.
In third place I’ve chosen “Immortal.” It’s a banger. There’s not much else I need to say about it.
“Deja Vu” and “Change” round out the top five due to the wow factor each track contains.
The honorable mentions are:
Once again these tracks are solid and if you argued that they belonged in the top five I would understand. The only song that’s just okay in my opinion is “Ville Mentality.” I just thought it was “meh.” Nothing great, nothing terrible.
What’s your top five? Leave your rankings in the comments below.