Verses: ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ vs ‘I Decided’


Starting this month I will begin selecting 2 albums and comparing them in a new series called verses. In the first month I will compare Big Sean’s I decided and J Cole’s 4 your eyez only.


At first listen J Cole’s 4 your eyez only knocked me off my feet with his ability to paint pictures solidifying his position as one of the best rappers in the game today.  Yes the album has no real jump out singles, but the songs are so deep with meaning and so well put together that there is no way that it could ever been seen as anything but a solid and well put together project.  Songs like “Neighbors” captures the ability of Cole to paint vivid pictures while delivering an impactful message over a beat that he himself produced, as he did much of the album. The very next song “Folding clothes” shows Cole’s versatility kicking rhymes that most grown women would appreciate while probably totally boring to death listeners that were born in the 2000s.  Overall it seems that this project was not an attempt to drop a classic album for the masses but to get something off his chest and deliver another Cole classic to his faithful followers. With 10 songs Cole did not leave any room for fluff and did not need any, as the tracks both lyrically and sonically through production delivered.  I love J Cole and probably my favorite song off this album is the title track 4 Your Eyez Only. On this track he really went in giving the listener a view inside the world of a father that has realized that he has made some wrong choices in the streets and that he may not be around to see his daughter grow into a woman. He made Cole promise that he would write about his story and give it to his daughter when she was old enough to listen thus the name of the album.


I decided by Big Sean is one of those albums that may take you a couple of listens to get what he is trying to do, but I promise once you get it, there will be no denying the fact that this guy is dead nice and knows how to make a classic. This project has a mixture of radio candy like “Bounce Back” and “Jump out the window” that should play on your local airways 24 times a day, along with bangers like “No favors” featuring Eminem that will keep hip hop heads totally locked in.  Eminem, who doesn’t give out features to just anyone with a humongous check, offers a 2 minute rant that will definitely take you at least a half dozen plays to catch all them gems he’s dropping.  “Tell Dre I’m meeting him in LA white bronco like Elway” for example, didn’t catch my attention until my 5th or 6th listen. The genius of this album among other things is in the placement of the songs changing the pace going from raw emceeing exercising pure lyricism to a banging radio tune. Even though the radio tunes were obviously made for radio they were far from wack. Big Sean is in the top 5 of active rappers in the game today, and he does not dumb down to make songs easier to listen to for the radio. Songs like “Sacrifices” featuring Migos totally fit and do not sound forced or out of place. I always hated it when rappers would do songs with each other simply because they share the same parent label and you could hear that there was no real chemistry between them just a big check that someone was paid to make it happen.

Now I do have to acknowledge Cole did not have any features in his album and Big Sean had a few big ones which does take cool points away if you are a purist. But at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the listener who has only $12 to his/her name and has to make a crucial decision about which album to get.  If you want to hear powerful deep lyrics talking about everything from presidential politics to introspective thugs trying to find a better life then, 4 your Eyez only is your jam. For just about everyone else you should go with I decided because this album has something for just about everyone that loves rap music.

The winner is I decided by Big Sean and receives a DOPE rating by me as does 4 your eyez only, but on this go round Sean has the better album hands down.


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