J Cole returns after a 2 year long hiatus, with KOD. Announcing the release in the same week that it dropped, it was yet another surprise album from Cole. Cole has proven his star power to be big enough to where he can announce a album with little to no promo and still do numbers. The album has already broken spotify and Apple music records.
This certainly has established his legend status, making him one of the biggest rappers to come from the Millenial generation. Even superstar rappers like LOGIC have given Cole his props.
Now, let's get into the actual music. Much like Jay-Z's "4:44" of last year, this "KOD" album feels like it will be at the forefront of "Grown Folks" Hip-hop for 2018. The album makes a statement on the current state of Hip-hop and the effects of drug use and it's promotion on society. KOD stands for three different titles:
1) Kidz On Drugs
2) King OverDose
3) Kill Our Demons
The albums ultimate themes tackle topics ranging from depression and anxiety to addiction and consumerism. The album begins with a jazzy intro infused with a poem about pain and how to deal with it. The opening musical track, "KOD", sets the tone for what the majority of the album will sound like: modern trap beats and flows fused with lyrical raps. For me personally, its the best thing ever! I love mumble rap just as much as conscious rap. That being said, its dope to hear the trap sound with CRAZY Lyrical bars. The "KOD" song establishes his "King" status with braggodocio raps about not needing features, talking about stacking "Ms", and going "Hard as Sh!t".
The following song, "Photograph", is an interesting love ballad about falling for a instagram model. I never thought that someone could make a song about that and it be deep and introspective, yet thats what Cole does. In the song he raps, "Love today's gone digital and Its Fu%#k!ing with my health". The song is a analyzation on the culture surrounding social media and dating in 2018.
The songs "The Cut Off", "Kevin's Heart", "Once an Addict", and "FRIENDS" all tackle the subjects of addiction and drug culture and its effects on people and society. While, songs such as "BRACKETS" and "ATM" talk about consumerism and the negative effect that money and the need to "Stunt" is having on the youth.
Cole ends the album with "1985", which is arguably the most popular song from the album, given the way it has shaken up the industry for its offense to many in the younger generation of rappers. Cole doesn't name drop directly, but many think that he was specifically speaking to teen rap sensation, Lil Pump. Throughout the song, Cole directly addresses the current youth of rappers who are more concerned with getting money ,tattoos, and slaying broads, rather than being a postive influence for their peers. He speaks to them from the place of not only a grown man, but a grown man who has been in the industry for 10+ years, now. He litterally said nothing disrespectful, in my opinion. And as a matter of fact, he genuinely was just trying to help them!
All in all, I have to say that this is probably my favorite Cole album. Its between "KOD" and "Forest Hills Drive . That being said, theres no denying that this is Cole's most IMPORTANT project to date. It comes out in a time where I feel like even though its not a message that WANTS to be heard by the youth, its a message that NEEDS to be heard. And though, there are many who are offended, hopefully they can listen to this project 5 years from now and see that Cole was coming from a place of worry and not disrespect.
Thanks again for your time as always, thanks!
Listen to KOD now: http://smarturl.it/KODJCole
Connect with J. Cole:
- Max Ataraxsis