For those of you who truly know me, y’all know how much love I have for Jermaine Cole. After watching his latest HBO documentary “4 Your Eyez Only”, my respect and admiration for him has grown even more. Here we go…

So Cole dropped another HBO special last weekend and this time around it was a little more intimate. Now you might be like, what are you talking about, Steve? Let me explain. This documentary, in my opinion, was a direct correlation to what the album brought. It was nothing flashy or nothing that really made you want to jump out of your seat. It wasn’t like that…it was just reality in its purest form.

Throughout this documentary, Cole travels to different southern cities and interacts with other African Americans. By that, I mean he is just simply talking to them and listening to their stories. I feel that even though it doesn’t sound like much, there is great power in just talking and listening to people, especially when you are as big of a figure as J. Cole.

If you watch, you will notice that the documentary sort of has a pattern to it. He’ll chop it up with some people and then do a snippet of a song off his latest album. Not just any song, but a song that has some correlation to the kind of stories that these people were telling. By the way, y’all hear that preview of his new song? I swear it was only like a minute and 30 seconds but I could already tell that it was heat. Anyways back to the topic, I noticed that all of these people shared one common trait, perseverance.

j cole snippet

For example, at the end of the documentary Cole runs into a woman who is the definition of courageous. She shares her story about losing a couple of her children as well as the fact that she has 3 jobs. It’s not so much about her story, but how much of a positive view that she has on the world around her. It was mad powerful to see this.

When people ask me why J. Cole is my favorite rapper, I tell them he’s my favorite because he just tells it how it is. He paints a picture in your head. Don’t believe me? Just go listen to “Lights Please” or “Too Deep For The Intro“. But beyond the rap, Cole has always viewed himself as equal as any one of us. He’s not into the materialistic lifestyle. I mean c’mon man, this dude still rides his bike around. You probably wont ever catch Drake Or Kendrick on a bike…think about it. Plus, this dude had a wife and kid without anyone ever knowing? talk about low key! Anyways, this documentary exemplifies the kind of person that Cole is. You can see that he truly cares about the people who are sharing their stories.

j cole bike

We all have our own story. For someone like Cole to just go out of his way and connect with strangers about their stories. It is powerful. It’s something you don’t see every day which makes it even more important. Not only does it make you feel blessed for everything you have, but it makes you take a step back. Cole demonstrates that we are all the same and just because you are a rapper or someone who is a big figure, doesn’t mean you can’t make connections with people who may not be as fortunate as you are.

J. Cole is unlike any other rapper and it is proven with this documentary. I feel like he really wants the rest of the world to know that there are some amazing people out there who don’t get enough credit. There are some true heroes out there who are disguised as every day people, it’s their story that defines them. Thank you Cole, for not boasting or bragging about how much money you have. But rather letting the world get a glimpse of some harsh reality and showing us that perseverance is key. As Cole would say, “I’m just a man of the people, not above but equal”.

“If they don’t know you dreams, then they can’t shoot em’ down.”

-Stephen Arsola