J Cole’s KOD Review

Okay, first off J Cole is unquestionably top 3 greatest rappers of all time. Yeah I said it. His lyrical genius and storytelling skills are unmatched and speak to a sense of wisdom that is almost extraterrestrial.

His prior projects have proved he is very much worth his salt. Friday Night Lights is one of the most memorable mixtapes ever created while 2014 Forest Hills Drive is arguably the best rap album of his era.

J Cole released KOD while shrouded in so much secrecy. Off the project name alone we are greeted with a triple entendre title as tweeted by the man himself. KOD translates to;

  • Kids On Drugs
  • King Overdosed
  • Kill Our Demons,

And all three are showcased on the cover art, a brilliant concept that has kids sipping lean, snorting cocaine, ingesting percocet and smoking weed. There is similarly a demon head and a crown on Cole’s head who is heavily strung out on drugs.

Not so coincidentally released on 4/20, KOD allows Cole to tear down hip-hop’s current glamorization of drug addiction. The 12 track album is threaded by amazing STORYTELLING. Oh how we have missed this Cole World depth. The production is mellow, a bit drowsy, and very simplistic. For the most part, KOD is all about its message(s). Cole’s message(s) mainly revolve around the disappointment he has with a the drug affliction in the urban culture today

The trailer to the album (Roc Nation have budgets yo!) dropped and laid precedence to the messages in the album, the overall message being ‘meditate, don’t medicate’

The album’s opening intro will have you in a trance with the smooth jazzy instrumentals. A woman talks about dealing with pain, a hint that she’s coping with demons through drugs. How she hovers on the word “pain” is foreshadowing.

KOD, track number 2, is a banger for sure. The bass and drums, punctuated with Cole’s flow is sauce. As for him having no features, he blatantly states; “Niggas ain’t worthy to be on my shit.”. The track ends with a mention of various addicting vices, including fame and love.

ATM is the project’s 5th track. His rapping follows a commendable rhythm all the while spitting nothing but BARS. There are so many quotables on this song, and they are delivered so effortlessly, proving just how easy this Rap sh*t comes to him. The accompany video to the song though is mind-blowing outstanding. I’m just gonna call it as the best video of the year already.

Kevin’s Heart gets J Cole talking about contemplating cheating (definitely Kevin Hart inspired) against some magical chords, punctuated with a lot of guilt. On the heels of Kevin’s Heart is the very contemplative Brackets that kicks of with the legendary comedian Richard Pryor performing a skit. Did I not mention the storytelling threading in the whole body of work is simply magnificent

1985 straight bodied a mumble rapper (assumed to be walking Crayola disaster Lil Pump) because only a 17 year old privileged white boy would dare sing ‘Fu*k J Cole’. Jermaine offered some tremendous ‘church lady’ reads while schooling the youngins;

I must say, by your songs I’m unimpressed, hey
But I love to see a black man get paid
And plus, you havin’; fun and I respect that
But have you ever thought about your impact?
These white kids love that you don’t give a f***
Cause that’s exactly what’s expected when your skin black
They wanna see you dab, they wanna see you pop a pill
They wanna see you tatted from your face to your heels
And somewhere deep down, f*** it, I gotta keep it real
They wanna be black and think your song is how it feels

J Cole pulled a Jay Z and annihilated the druggy mumble infested rap culture. It’s not a wonder both are signed to Roc Nation

He has to play savior to a genre that many perceive as deteriorating quicker than Nicki Minaj’s credibility.

Notable favorites; KOD, ATM, Motiv8, 1985, Window Pain

Overall Rating; 8/10

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