Just two months ago J. Cole claimed that his performance at Meadows Fest in New York would be his last show for a “very long time.” At the time it was uncertain as to why he was stepping away for the limelight, but an iTunes hints that the Fayetteville rapper has been gearing up to release his fourth studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only.
Cole himself has neither confirmed nor denied the album’s arrival. Nonetheless, the strategy of announcing the release of a highly-anticipated album just days before it’s slated for purchase mimics the game plan of his third album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Though the album had no lead single or marketing in place for promotion, it eventually reached double platinum status Furthering the similarities, 4 Your Eyez Only’s Dec. 9 release date marks the two-year anniversary of 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
In 2007 Cole and his college friends-turned-business partners conjured up Dreamville. At the time it was nothing more than a collective whose name borrowedfrom their dwellings at St. John’s University in the “City of Dreams,” paired with Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The Dreamville concept lied dormant until its official formalization as a record label in 2014. The label's partnership with Interscope granted artists such as Bas, Cozz and Omen a platform to release albums under the Dreamville imprint. Cole’s albums, however, were under contract with Roc Nation, with distribution from Columbia Records.
Story by Ogden Payne