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Album Review: J. Cole’s KOD

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On April 20th, we were gifted with the 5th studio album from American rapper J. Cole. His album came suddenly and unexpectedly, with little to no promotion for the album; and no singles being released. The album is called KOD, which has three meanings: Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed, and Kill Our Demons. Coming in at just 42 minutes, J. Cole’s latest release has no features just like his two previous albums. In the same fashion as his previous albums, he has left us with a masterpiece.

I should start by stating that there is not a bad song on KOD. I like every song on the album, but obviously favor some more than others. J. Cole uses this album to critique our current culture and society. Drugs and addiction are a major theme on the album, but addiction has a broad meaning on this album. Addiction in this case can refer to any vices or compulsive actions, such as our obsession with technology. After the albums opening intro, J. Cole gets into the song “KOD” in which he talks about his position in hip hop and refutes those who go against him. He talks about how he has no features because no one is worthy to be featured. He follows this up with “Photograph” in which he spins a unique take on love in today’s society. He critiques how we fall in love through social media and not human interaction. On “ATM”, one of my favorites on the album, J. Cole gets into the topic of money. I didn’t think I could listen to another rap song about money, but this song proved me wrong. J. Cole doesn’t just take about how he has lots of money, but instead delves into the issue with our obsession and addiction to money. He continues these themes on “Brackets”, where he talks about how much money he has made; but discusses how the IRS takes money from him. J. Cole talks about current events such as the infidelity scandal with Kevin Hart on “Kevin’s Heart”, and critiques trap rappers on “1985”. “1985” closes the album, and serves as a nice diss. I say this because J. Cole doesn’t throw insults outright at the artists but discusses how they have little for them in the future if they continue on their path.

Two weeks have passed, and I have listened to the album over and over again. I feel that this album is as good if not better than J. Cole’s last album 4 Your Eyez Only. For any hip hop fans or J. Cole fans who have yet to hear this album, I definitely recommend a listen.

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Album Review: J. Cole’s KOD