Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985), better known by his stage name J. Cole, is an American recording artist and record producer.
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 pre-order page 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 borrowed from their dwellings at St. John’s University in the “City of Dreams,” paired with Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Despite Cole’s claims of stepping away from the stage, a corresponding tour is a welcomed thought. His Forest Hills Drive tour sold approximately 565,000-575,000 tickets according to Cole’s booking agent, Rob Gibbs. The tour generated multiple sellouts, including the 18,000-capacity Madison Square Garden, and grossed over $16 million from July to September, according to Billboard.
Cole will likely remain silent until 4 Your Eyez Only is available for purchase. Fans can only speculate if Cole’s announcement of absence was a marketing ploy, or a necessary evil in order to put the finishing touches on his fourth album. Regardless, devoted listeners can rest assured that on Dec. 9, Cole will release a project meant for eyes and ears.