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In 2014, J. Cole released his third studio album 2014 Forest Hill Drive and its accompanying HBO documentary, J. Cole: Road To Homecoming. The doc was packed full of guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Rihanna, Jay Z and more. Now, Cole has again teamed up with Jay Z and his Tidal team to release a new documentary titled Eyez ahead of his latest album 4 Your Eyez Only on December 9. It’s not packed with celeb appearances. It’s unfortunately not really packed with anything.
The new doc popped up on Tidal’s site today and follows Cole and his team as they record 4 Your Eyez Only in the Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Though Cole is known for his rapid-fire delivery of eloquent and politically conscious lyrics, he remains silent for most of the documentary, which is filled with overdrawn stationary shots of conversations with unidentified musicians and acquaintances and little to no context given. What should have stayed an end-of-project crew gift has been made into an exclusive doc for Tidal, with two music videos and only a few moments of real conversation embedded in forty minutes of, well, not much. The 40-minute doc ends with Cole getting on a bicycle and riding out of shot, apparently just as uninterested as the viewer to see where the film ends.
Thankfully, there are a few moments of interest in the slow-burning film:
When Cole and a friend discuss the treatment of black youth by police in America. Cole later shares his feelings again when speaking about his inspiration for the new album. “First of all, you get to this level or this height in your career in terms of platform, who’s to say, the next one might go down or go up,” says the five-time Grammy nominee. “You’re never guaranteed to be this high again. So, while I’m here, let me use this opportunity to say the realest shit I’ve ever said.”
The rapper addresses remaining largely out of the press. “I’m living a life that’s very detached. I’m not on social media, I’m not in the news, I don’t cut the headlines. It’s family and fucking music. So, if I’m not allowing myself to go, to feel what people are feeling, then of course I’m going to lose sight of that original inspiration.”
The doc includes the music videos for new songs “One Day Everybody Gotta Die” and “False Prophets.” The latter caused a stir yesterday, as fans and media speculated Cole is speaking about Kanye West. On “False Prophets” Cole raps, “When he tell us he a genius but it’s clearer lately / It’s been hard for him to look into the mirror lately / There was a time when this n**** was my hero / Maybe that’s the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take.” If the word ‘genius’ doesn’t mean self-proclaimed genius West, we don’t know who Cole is talking about.
Click here to watch J. Cole’s latest doc Eyez, just be ready to do some fast forwarding.