On this day, Dec. 9, in hip-hop history...

2016: J. Cole closed out the 2016 with a bang, once again, by releasing his fourth studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only.

Like his previous album, 2014 Forrest Hills Drive, the N.C. MC dropped the LP on very short notice, announcing the release only a week prior, while debuting the new documentary Eyez on Tidal. "First of all, you get to this height or this level of your career, in terms of platform, who's to say the next one, the next one might go down, it could go up,” he said in the documentary. “You’re never guaranteed to be this high again. And while I’m here, let me use this opportunity to say the realest shit I’ve ever said.”

Two new songs on documentary "False Prophets" and "Everybody Dies," set the Internet abuzz, as Cole appeared to be addressing Kanye West's fall from grace in the former, and taking shots at less lyrical MCs on the latter. Neither cut ended up making album for creative reasons, but the energy surrounding the new project was enough for it to push 500,000 unit in its first week out.

The final version of the album featured 10 solo songs, with production from Cole, Cardiak, Vinylz, Ron Gilmore, BLVK and Elijah Scarlett. Cole would go on to push the singles "Neighbors" and "Deja Vu," off the album, which was praised by many as his most mature release to date.

Just like all of Cole's LPs up to that point, 4 Your Eyez Only received platinum certification by the RIAA in April of 2017, and laid the groundwork for Cole's successful KOD album, which was released in April of this year.

Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope

See Photos of J. Cole’s Different Looks Over the Years

More From XXL