This past weekend, J. Cole‘s 4 Your Eyez Only: A Dreamville Film documentary aired on HBO, and in the special, fans finally got the chance to see the incident that inspired “Neighbors,” a 4 Your Eyez Only track detailing the time a SWAT team with 12 armed police officers were sent to one of his studios for a drug raid.
In the grainy footage, which was captured by a security camera on March 18, 2016, we see one of the officers launch a decisive kick into the house’s door, knocking it down immediately. In a different view of the footage, we see another officer disarming the camera recording their actions. Of course, Cole’s studio—a North Carolina home he calls the Sheltuh where he recorded 4 Your Eyez Only—didn’t actually have any drugs in it (besides a small amount of weed), and afterwards, the raid seemed completely over the top.
During a brief Twitter exchange, one fan asked Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad, who serves as the president of J. Cole’s Dreamville records label, if the footage was real, and Hamad confirmed it was. You can see the tweets below.
In the hook for “Neighbors,” Cole sort of laments the incident while making fun of it at the same time, rapping about how his neighbors think he’s selling dope, and even though he isn’t, he is selling “dope” music.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Cole said he wrote six songs the weekend the raid happened.
You can see the grainy security footage of the video below.
@KingOfQueenz is this real footage from the "neighbors think I'm selling dope" story?!
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton5) April 16, 2017
— Ibrahim H. (@KingOfQueenz) April 16, 2017