James McMillan Jr.’s death was the inspiration for J. Cole’s album, 4 Your Eyez Only. James was Cole’s childhood friend who was murdered in North Carolina. He was 22-years-old when he was slain. The rapper has not released any details about the meaning behind the album. Many believe that Cole wrote the album for McMillan’s daughter’s Eyez Only.
Early first week sales projections reveal that J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only could sell 400-500K copies in the opening week. The song “Change” takes listeners to the shootout that took McMillan’s life. “He was 22” the rapper proclaims on the track. You then hear the news report, crying and the words that could have been spoken at James’ funeral.
|James McMillan Jr. Death J. Cole North Carolina|
In the track “Immortal” Cole speaks from a hustler’s mentality, which was most likely James’ outlook on life when he chose the street life. “Real n**as don’t die.” In the title track, “4 Your Eyez Only” Cole speaks from a convicted criminal’s point of view. He explains that he’s attempted to find work and was even willing to clean toilets, yet his past crimes continue to haunt him.
At the end of the first verse, he seems to be contemplating suicide. As James, he advises the world to let his daughter know to play this tape for his daughter if the pressure proves to be too much for him to handle. J. Cole is a genius.