j cole, kod, album

Album Review: J Cole – KOD

In Hip Hop by Jessica Salter

North Carolina lyricist J.Cole dropped his fifth studio album ‘KOD’ on April 20th, days after he held a free listening party for fans in New York City. The 12 track project continues with the ‘no feature’ trend with the exception of Cole’s alter ego ‘kiLL edward. This is a follow up from his 2016 project ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ which debuted at No.1 on the billboard 200.

The cover art posted on his Instagram emphasises the drug theme with a disclaimer at the top stating ‘this album is in no way glorifying addiction.’ ‘KOD’ can be interpreted in three different ways, ‘Kidz on drugs,’ ‘Kill our demonz’ and ‘Kingz overdose.’

The latter part of the album is where the conscious tracks lie; starting with ‘Once an addict’ depicting a story of a young boy who should choose wisely when dealing with pain. Which leads to the next track ‘Friends’ where Cole raps that he ‘wrote this to talk about the word addiction’ and that you should ‘meditate, don’t medicate.’ However gritty the songs appear Cole is one of very few rappers taking a different stance on drugs.

The last track ‘1985’ sees Cole acknowledging the ‘mumble rappers’ generation event though he is unimpressed by them. This could be seen as a diss to Lil Pump who previewed a song directed at J.Cole last year, however he gives them advise for longevity in the industry.

Cole also dropped visiuals for the track ‘ATM’ which has already had over 3.5millon views.