Today, is January 28th which is J. Cole’s birthday and a title of a track on his “2014 Forest Hills Drive” album. Back in August of 2017, I had the opportunity to attend rapper J. Cole’s #4YourEyezOnly concert in Duluth, Georgia at The Infinite Energy Arena. The concert started on time at 8 P.M. and lasted until about 11:30 P.M. J. Cole had four opening acts. The first to perform was the singer, Ari Lennox followed by rappers J.I.D. and Bas. These three artists are signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. Also, Grammy nominated singer-musician Anderson.Paak and his band the Free Nationals were the last opening act for J. Cole.
After Anderson.Paak’s performance of “Am I Wrong” there was about a fifteen-minute break and all of a sudden all the lights in the arena went off and the sold out diverse crowd of over 10,000 people went crazy!
J. Cole’s songs and the concert theme reflect his life perspective of growing up in North Carolina, dealing with life, love, racial politics, and becoming a famous rapper. The stage was centered in the middle of the arena as if it was a boxing ring with no ropes and instead streetlights props and surveillance camera footage being displayed on the jumbo screens showing various audience members in a surveillance camera type filter. All of a sudden J. Cole was spotted walking in the audience wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and being escorted through the crowd by men wearing police uniforms as he walked up the stairs and got on the center stage to perform “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Immortal” followed by the smash hit “Déjà vu”.
The thought provoking fourth song performed was “Ville Mentality”. The live band with violins and keyboards offered for a very thematic and soulful background as J. Cole took time to speak to the audience about the meaning of the song and the pros and cons of living and being in the moment, yet also being aware of having a future. After speaking J. Cole went back to performing a few of his other songs from other albums such as “Nobody’s Perfect”, “Power Trip”, and “No Role Modelz” and then continued to perform other songs off of his latest album.
Next J. Cole performed “Neighbors” and took the time to passionately explain the origins of the song. J. Cole was inspired to write this song from an unfortunate incident where one of his white suburban neighbors called an armed SWAT team to his property accusing him of “criminal activity”. The heavily armed SWAT team, with loaded rifles, broke the door to his home down and turned his home’s surveillance cameras off as they searched the premises, but they did not find anyone or anything. After J. Cole explained to the audience what happened the arena jumbo screens showed the real life footage of the surveillance video cameras capturing what the SWAT team did to his home.
After this song, J. Cole performed a few more songs and then the show ended. I thought of J. Cole as a pastor speaking to his congregation through music. The message he delivered that night was about life and living and enjoying yourself. I really had a good time and would pay to see him perform again. He has a positive and humble vibe. Overall his energy, stamina, and stage presence was great. If you ever have a chance to see J. Cole perform live I would most definitely recommend you to go.
One reply on “J. Cole’s #ForYourEyezOnly Concert Review”
I was at this show, it was so dope.