J. Cole has gone platinum twice with no features, and he owns his masters.
In a rare interview, J. Cole sat down with The New York Times to preview his HBO documentary 4 Your Eyez Only. The documentary complements his December 2016 album of the same name. Where Cole used the album to rap from several different perspectives, the film will use the camera lens to show the lives of working class Black people in Atlanta, Georgia and Ferguson, Missouri. Cole will also visit his hometown Fayetteville, North Carolina as well as his father’s hometown Jonesboro, Arkansas.
However, the documentary will not feature Cole as a narrator or a subject, instead, he will only be a listener.
“I felt like it would be mad powerful for black people to see black people talking to each other, he tells NYT. “And you see a rapper who’s considered one of the biggest in the game, just listening. These are people that never get to be heard, by the world or even by each other.”
He adds that he especially hopes that the neighbors he raps about on his song “Neighbors,” the ones who called the police to his home, which led to a raid on unwarranted suspicions of drug dealing, watch the documentary.
“They’re going to listen to black people for an hour,” he said. “See how human they are, and see black men walk around with their daughters, and get a whole different perspective. If I’m listening, why can’t you listen?”
One other tidbit comes when writer Jon Caramanica writes that Cole is now in control of his master recordings. Read the entire interview here and check out the 4 Your Eyez Only trailer below. It comes on HBO on Saturday, April 14.