J. Cole's new album, 4 Your Eyez Onlysounds unlike any other album from the North Carolina rapper before it. His rhymes are still down to earth, his tone still subdued, but it's the production that brought his music to the next level this time around.

We got a sneak peek at Cole's process in the Eyez documentary, where he's seen working with session musicians and playing a little guitar and piano himself. But after exploring the full production credits on the album, it turns out there was live instrumentation on all ten tracks, fleshing out the beats to become larger and more intricate than anything Cole's ever rapped on before.

XXL tracked down some of the key producers and contributors on the album, including Elite, Cardiak, Elijah Scarlett and Chargaux, to talk about the making of 4 Your Eyez Only and how they each contributed to the final result. Here's what they had to say.

Words by Max Weinstein, Georgette Cline, Bianca Torres and Sidney Madden