As we all rolled out of bed the other morning, or staggered out after 2 hours of sleep in my roommates' cases, (Finals week starts a little earlier for some of us. Good luck to all my fellow finals suffers!) we were happy to find a happy surprise sitting in our iTunes stores: a new J. Cole album pending release. Thank the Universe!
The new album is called 4 Your Eyez Only, which is actually what it was briefly until being taken down from the site completely. Which has some of us asking, "Are we really that exhausted from lack of sleep? Did I just imagine it?". Regardless, this will be Cole's first solo project in two years. Considering going double platinum with no features on the last project, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, I don't blame him for going so long. Music lovers nowadays are spoiled with music every week now with platforms such as Soundcloud making sharing music as easy as touching a button. (Keep in mind, I'm not complaining. Simply making a point that a lot of work went into that album, he's got to recuperate.) Cole is also probably still basking in the fact that he's finally got some sort of love from the industry with a Best Album of the Year Award from institutions such as BET and Billboard for the album...Yep, that's right. Still no Grammy for releasing an album with NO FEATURES and still going DOUBLE PLATINUM. Hip Hop enthusiasts are still sore about it. (Well at least I am.) It can't help but make you question whether the Academy is actually looking at the music anymore. How can an artist who has in numerous songs been mentioned as one of the leaders in Hip Hop, not have the awards to back up his title?
Then again, Cole isn't the only Hip Hop All-Star to never win a Grammy. Get this, artists such as 2Pac, Biggie, Snoop Dogg, Nas, DMX, Rakim, Busta Ryhmes, Run DMC, Ice Cube, and The Game have never had their hands on their own golden chalice. So Academy, really, let's have a heart to heart. Should you all even name the category Best Rap Album or should it be Best Rap Audience Crossover Album because you all haven't even awarded the heavy hitters of Hip Hop their deserved awards. So what artists such as Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar have the title added to their resumes? So you got it right those years, but that shadows in comparison to the numerous years that you've honestly gotten it wrong. You even put Pac in the Grammy Museum and never even gave him one! Get it together.
Let's only hope that this fourth album by J. Cole isn't just another miss by the Academy and he finally receives some of the accolades the man deserves...That is if it actually drops on Dec. 9 and I'm not simply hallucinating it's existence.
*Edit: I'm not just hallucinating. The album is very real and you can check out it's creation in the documentary, Eyez, Cole just dropped on Tidal.