Elite, the co-executive producer of J. Cole‘s 4 Your Eyez Only spoke with Complex about the making of the album. Elite, who is a frequent Cole collaborator, touched on the song “Neighbors” and how it’s based on some real life events. Elite remarked:
“The “Neighbors” story is crazy. Basically Cole rented out a house in North Carolina. It’s not for him; it’s like a safe haven/creative workspace for all the Dreamville artists and producers. We call it the Sheltuh, and a lot of the album was recorded there.. It’s basically a studio in a basement, in the woods.
It’s also in the suburbs of a pretty wealthy neighborhood in North Carolina. So you have, predominately, African-Americans coming in and out of this house. Ubers coming, and every once in awhile you’ll see a group of us outside on the porch smoking weed. So the neighbors started getting real paranoid.
Apparently what happened was, we were all in Austin, Texas, for SXSW; thankfully no one was in the house when this went down. One of the neighbors told the police we were growing weed or selling drugs out of this house. And there was a huge investigation, like a million-dollar investigation. They flew helicopters over, sent an entire SWAT team armed with weapons, broke down the door and searched the whole house. Thankfully nobody was in the house. Our engineer Juro “Mez” Davis had just stepped out for lunch and he came back and saw the SWAT team busting down the door.
They go downstairs and all they see is a studio, and obviously they felt stupid. It’s just crazy ironic because out of anybody, they picked the wrong person. J. Cole is the last person to do anything like that. He’s out here doing extremely positive things for the community and for young artists. Because of obvious racism from the neighbors, the police were called and a raid took place.”
J. Cole’s recently released fourth studio album 4 Your Eyez Only is projected to do around 400,000 to 500,000 equivalent album units according to Hits Daily Double and has a strong chance of making it to number one on the charts. The record is poised to be the year’s third-biggest debut behind Drake‘s Views and Beyonce‘s Lemonade. Then there’s the highly possible repeat of the platinum or double platinum with no features thing, though Cole had more help on the creation of the album that most think. Head here to check out the full album credits. The ten track 4 Your Eyez Only was released on Friday, December 9th. Elite also touched on the creation of the album and that much talked about fan theory about the album being primarily about Cole’s friend. Read the full interview via Complex here and listen to J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only via Apple Music below.