Two years after being brutally dragged through the mud for his last LP, with most critics panning it by citing its sleepy demeanor, J. Cole returns mainstream with a new record breaking album entitled “KOD,” or as he revealed it, “king overdose,” “kids on drugs” and “kill our demons.”
J. Cole's album "KOD" was resleased April 20, 2018
Breaking the previous record for the most streamed hits within 24 hours on the Spotify charts, dethroning Taylor Swift, Cole’s titular track kicks off his most conceptually cohesive project to date.
Bitterly rapping about how no one is worthy enough to be featured on his LP seems to be the first detour within the album followed by his bravado underestimation of the crazy lives some actors live (I.e. Jack Nicholson).
The next track, “photograph,” is one of the only songs that does not perfectly fit with the concept presented, despite its delicious synth progression.
Unless the track is being used to depict the clout demons ravaging most millennials, it’s still too vague and weak compared to some of the messages in his other tracks.
The cut off officially begins the ‘kill our demons’ portion of the album as Cole dons the new personal “kill Edward” to deliver his take on his own vices, fictitious or not.
The only single off the album, “ATM,” brings a much needed energy that was left behind in the first track and has Jermaine spitting a redundant reframe that infectiously sticks to my ear.
Continuing from there “Kevin’s Heart,” is the most cinematic love song of the bunch. Rapping from the perspective of Kevin’s heart, Cole, the relationship icon, talks about losing respect for himself while cheating yet strives forward for the drug-like effects caused by the affection given to him.
Being the de facto king of the mainstream comedy bridges a bigger connection to the overarching narrative.
Cole’s song “Brackets,” despite being the most provocative track, lacks the musical punch it needed to complement it.
The track “Once an addict - interlude,” comes off as one of Cole’s most personal and open songs. The addition of the word interlude is a brilliant contribution as it makes the listener believe the track will be shorter than it actually is.
J. Cole added a bonus track to the project claiming it to be the intro to his next album. The song features Cole advising all new up-and-coming rappers about the industry’s downsides while finally addressing the hate, cultivated by the new generation, being thrown at him.
All in all the project is much more bouncy then his last as it parodies a SoundCloud aesthetic not typically associated with his brand still it falls short of being an impeccable classic.