J. Cole is my favorite rapper. I first really started to get in to his stuff when Born Sinner came out. Songs like “Crooked Smile” feat. TLC, and “LAnd of the Snakes” drew me in; but when 2014 Forest Hills Drive came out, I was hooked. I then began to gather all of his music and divulge myself into his musicality. Without question, the thing I like about Jermaine Cole the most is his passion. When I hear a J Cole song, I can generally picture myself in the studio listening to him spew his emotions for the world to eventually hear. When I heard For Your Eyez Only would be releasing, I waited in immediate anticipation and was not disappointed. The album didn’t have the effect on me
that 2014 Forest Hills Drive had on me, but then again I doubt any other album will.
My favorite tracks on For Your Eyez Only aren’t necessarily the songs I listen to the most from the album, partially because they are slower-paced. “She’s Mine” is a two-part track that is separated on the album by a few other songs. When I first listened through the album, these two tracks struck me the most because to me they highlighted J. Cole’s passion and emotion the most. In “She’s Mine Pt. 1”, Cole talks about the first love he ever felt, for a woman. He describes how it’s hard for him to project his emotions to this person and talk about his insecurities:
Yeah, I wanna tell the truth to you
I wanna talk about my days as a youth to you
Exposing you to all my demons and the reasons I’m this way
I would like to paint a picture, but it’ll take more than a day
In “She’s Mine Pt. 2” J. Cole introduces us to the only other love of his life, his daughter. He explains how he wishes life was different in the world, and how he wants to raise her in a way that teaches her what’s important and life and not to be too materialistic. And as he puts it,
Reminisce when you came out the womb
Tears of joy I think filled up the room
You are now the reason that I fight
I ain’t never did nothing this right in my whole life.
What really gets me about these tracks isn’t just the lyrics and general emotion of it all, it’s the way that he delivers the lines, which is as heartfelt as I can think of on a song. When I hear this song, I can picture him almost to tears as he speaks his truth. Its powerful stuff, and the reason why he continues to be my personal favorite.