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4 Your Eyez Only

J. Cole


Yeah (for your eyes)
For your eyes only (for your eyes)
For your eyes only, for your eyes only
(for your eyes, for your eyes)
For your eyes only

[verse 1]
Hey, niggas be dying on the daily
It seems my dreams faded for far too long
The consequences deadly
Can't visualize myself as nothing
But a criminal
Control the block, serving up rocks
And stay subliminal
'cause young niggas is hardheaded
They letting off
Full of adrenaline
Ignorant to what death can cause
Ain't no coming back
Family dressed in black
Plus it's hot now, the cops outside
It's hard to flip a pack
And my daughter gotta eat
Her mama be stressing me
Like I ain't the one
Who put them jays on her feet
Like I ain't out in the field like that
I might be low for the moment
But I will bounce back
Despite the charges, back to the wall
I fight regardless
Screaming, "fuck the law, "
My life is lawless
That's what you call it
Ain't got to be no psychic
To see this is like
The farthest thing from heaven
This is hell and I don't mean
That hyperbolic
I try to find employment even
If it's wiping toilets
But these felonies
Be making life the hardest
Resisting the temptation
To run up and swipe a wallet
Or run up on your yard
Snatch your daughter bike and pawn it
That's why I write this sonnet
If the pressure get too much
For me to take and I break
Play this tape for my daughter
And let her know my life is on it
(for your eyes)
Let her know my life is on it
(for your eyes)
For your eyes only

For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes, do you understand me?
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes, do you understand me?
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes, do you understand me?
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes only

[verse 2]
You probably grown now
So this song'll hit you
If you're hearing this, unfortunately
Means that I'm no longer
With you in the physical
Not even sure if I believe in god
But because you still alive
He got me praying that the spiritual is real
So I can be a part of you still
My pops was killed too
So I know how part of you feels
Maybe you hate me
Maybe you miss me, maybe you spite me
Life goes in cycles
Maybe you'll date a nigga just like me
I hope not-I'm tired of dope spots
And fiends that smoke rocks
I've seen far too many niggas' hopes rot
I'm writing this because me
And the devil had a dance
Now I see death around the corner
'pologizing in advance
Don't know if I ever had a chance
At a glance, I'm a failure
Addicted to pushing paraphernalia
But daddy had dreams once
My eyes had a gleam once
Innocence disappeared
By the age of eight years
My pops shot up-drug-related-mama addicted
So granny raised me in projects
Where thugs was hanging
Blood was staining the concrete
Older niggas I loved talked
Like they was above
Maintaining a time sheet, that slow money
Picked up the family business
By the age of thirteen
Six years later was handed sentence
'round the same time
Is when you came in this world
Me and your mama thinking
"what the fuck we naming this girl? "
I told her "nina"
The prettiest name that I could think of
For the prettiest thing
My eyes had ever seen, I was nineteen
Took me two felonies to see the trap
This crooked ass system set for me
And now I fear it's too late
For me to ever be
The one that set examples
That was never set for me
I'm living fast, but not fast enough
Cause karma keeps on catching up to me
And if my past becomes the death of me
I hope you understand

For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes, do you understand me?
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes, do you understand me?
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes, do you understand me?
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes only

[verse 3]
It's several ways I could've went out
Too many to count
Was it the trigger happy crackers
That the badges give clout?
Was it the young niggas, blasting frustrated
Cause the cash running out?
Niggas don't know how to act in a drought
See, baby girl, I realized
My definition of a real nigga was skewed
My views misshaped by new mixtapes
That confirmed the shit
I learned in the streets was true
That real niggas don't speak
When they beef with you
They just pull up on your street
Let the heat achoo
And if a real nigga hungry
He gon' eat your food
I was a fool, spent all
My time ducking school, ducking cops
Ducking rules
Hugging blocks that don't love you
I pray you find a nigga
With goals and point of views
Much broader than the corner
If not it's gon' corner you
Into a box, where your son
Don't even know his pops
And the cyclical nature
Of doing time continues
My worst fear is one day
That you come home from school
And see your father face while hearing
'bout tragedy on news
I got the strangest feeling your daddy
Gonna lose his life soon
And sadly if you're listening
Now it must mean it's true
But maybe there's a chance that it's not
And this album remains locked
In a hard drive like valuable jewels
And I can teach you this in person
Like I'm teaching you to tie your own shoes
I love you and I hope to god
I don't lose you
For your eyes only

For your eyes, for your eyes only
For your eyes, for your eyes only
For your eyes, do you understand?
For your eyes only

[verse 4]
One day your daddy called me
Told me he had a funny feeling
What he'd been dealing with lately
He wasn't telling
I tried to pick his brains
Still he wasn't revealing
But I could feel the sense
Of panic in his voice
And it was chilling, he said
"jermaine, I knew you since we was children
I never asked for nothing when times was hard
I never had discussions
With you begging you to help me
I dealt with the repercussions of my actions
I know you tried to steer me
'way from that shit
But that shit was in my blood
You know my life
I know your momma, nigga; send my love
In case I never get a chance to speak again
I won't forget the weekends
Spent sleeping at your crib
That's the way I wished my family lived
But my granny crib was in the 'jects-"
I had to interject like
"nigga what you talking 'bout?
Fuck is you getting at? "
He said, "listen
I got no time to dive into descriptions
But I've been having premonitions
Just call it visions from the other side
I got a feeling I won't see tomorrow
Like the time I'm living on is borrowed
With that said, the only thing
I'm proud to say, I was a father
Write my story down and if I pass
Go play it for my daughter when she ready"
And so I'm leaving you
This record for your eyes only
Don't you ever scratch or disrespect it
This perspective is a real one
Another lost 'ville son
I dedicate these words to you
And all the other children
Affected by the mass incarceration
In this nation
That sent your pops to prison
When he needed education
Sometimes I think this segregation
Would've done us better
Although I know that means
That I would never
Be brought into this world
Cause my daddy was so thrilled
When he found him a white girl
To take back to jonesboro
With 'lil zach and cole world
Barely one years old
Now it's thirty years later
Making sure this story's told
Girl, your daddy was a real nigga
Not cause he was cold
Not because he was the first
To get some pussy twelve years old
Not because he used to come through
In the caddy on some vogues
Not because he went from bagging up
Them grams to serving o's
Nah, your daddy was a real nigga
Not 'cause he was hard
Not because he lived a life of crime
And sat behind some bars
Not because he screamed, "fuck the law"
Although that was true
Your daddy was a real nigga
Cause he loved you-for your eyes only

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