Those unable to attend J.Cole’s polarizing 4 Your Eyez Only tour are getting doses of the rapper’s creative mindset thanks to social media.
Kicking off earlier this month, the tour has explored the school to prison pipeline, racial profiling and the rapper’s reflection of male maturity. Cole’s decision to sport an orange jumpsuit during his performance goes further into his message of mass incarceration with his “Neighbors” video providing the perfect opportunity to lay out his recent presentation.
During his show at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA Saturday (Jul. 15) the rapper provided narration to home surveillance footage of a S.W.A.T. raid to a studio in North Carolina he was renting. “They think because we’re black we don’t own surveillance cameras,” he said. The incident happened in March 2016 after neighbors suspected the rapper of selling or growing drugs at the home. The incident led to the creation of “Neighbors” on 4 Your Eyez Only, Dreamville producer Anthony “Elite” Parrino told Complex in December 2016.
“They flew helicopters over, sent an entire SWAT team armed with weapons, broke down the door and searched the whole house,” he said. “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.”
Cole and his team were at SXSW at the time of the incident. Elite added that Dreamville engineer Juro ‘Mez’ Davis returned from lunch to see the S.W.A.T. team breaking down the door.
The footage was also included in the documentary named after the album and the visuals to the track. While on stage, Cole points out how the offices used one of his pool sticks to toy with the cameras.
Cole’s American leg of the tour will end in August at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and head overseas to Copenhagen Sept. 29.