AOTY 2018

4 Your Eyez Only

J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2016 Ratings: #552 / 758
User Score
Based on 324 ratings
2016 Ratings: #506
December 9, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dreamville, Roc Nation / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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Your Review



4 Your Eyez Only is ten tracks, no features and perfect ingredients. It's simple, confident, assured — even if the man making it goes out of his way to paint himself as conflicted and confused.


4 Your Eyez Only is a solid, short listen that relies on J. Cole’s strength and comfort zone, perhaps a little too much at times, but the underlying concepts continue to add a layer of depth to his artistry.


It's a special work, one that might require several thorough spins -- across a long stretch of time -- to be fully appreciated by those who love Cole's hit singles.


He has matured into one of the most important figures in modern hip hop and 4 Your Eyez Only is the evidence of this.


With 4 Your Eyez Only, J. Cole deserves consideration for tugging at the heartstrings of listeners with raw human emotion but still leaves open the door to reach a musical zenith.

Consequence of Sound

4 Your Eyez Only offers insight into the human condition, told from the eyes of a drug dealer simply trying to feed his family ... It’s a narrative that allows Cole to retain his reputation as a gifted MC while displaying his own growth and maturity as a human being at the same time.

The Line of Best Fit
For the first time ... this is a Cole record on which the faults don’t feel like significant hurdles, especially not in the face of the clear progress made.
With a light and airy track listing, ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ is most certainly worth a deep listen, both for his fans, and late comers to his music.

A dutiful focus on the album’s central storyline means there aren’t big swings or long tangents in any direction, and aside from that trio of great tracks, Cole seldom sounds like he’s leaving it all out on the field.

The Guardian

It is his most unassuming record to date, but also his richest sonically. There is still significant room for growth, but he has finally found his voice.

NOW Magazine

Eyez finds Cole furthering his reputation as a storytelling MC full of empathy and bravado.

Slant Magazine

This is an album about J. Cole, an album where he's the center, the star, the whole point. One's interest in 4 Your Eyez Only hinges on how interesting one finds him, and on how much one appreciates his pure technique.

The Independent
Not a dry eye, perhaps, but not all that exciting, either – which is part of the point, of course.
The Needle Drop

J. Cole returns with a personal set of vignettes on 4 Your Eyez Only.

There’s no fun to be had here; no guest spots, no radio hits, and no quotable lines at all, only the sound of tepid, pseudo-jazz beats for 44 excruciatingly long minutes.
It's a coincidence that there's a track called deja vu, because I swear J Cole put out the same album 2 years ago
The album that pushed Shaz off the edge
someone needs to tell this man to stop trying to sing, for the love of god. and to rap better too, let's not pretend he's doing anything decent on this one. i went in giving him a fair chance, but churning out cliche love songs in the first half doesn't help your cause. there were glimmers of hope on songs like "neighbors" (which drew on way too long) and "change" (which made sure to not actually be poignant in any meaningful way, god forbid), but once he starting rapping ... read more
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#35/Rolling Stone (Rap)

Track List

  1. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  2. Immortal
  3. Deja Vu
  4. Ville Mentality
  5. She's Mine, Pt. 1
  6. Change
  7. Neighbors
  8. Foldin Clothes
  9. She's Mine, Pt. 2
  10. 4 Your Eyez Only
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Added on: December 1, 2016