On 4.20, J.cole dropped his 5th studio album, titled KOD, seemingly out of nowhere. When my I finally found out about it later that day, it turned a very good friday into a great one. So far KOD has gotten mixed reviews from the major critics, but honestly I don’t understand the hate. Sure, it may be not as tenacious and energetic as some of his past work, but there is still not that much to be disappointed in. KOD has most of the elements of a well rounded rap album, although it does have a few flaws holding it back from being J. Cole’s best work.
This album is one I would recommend to anyone who has experienced the highs and the lows that come with substance abuse. Songs like “The Cut Off,” and “FRIENDS” show the struggle that a lot of people have with this problem. You can hear J.Cole’s perspective as he howls, “gimme drink, gimme smoke, get me high, let me float, I’m a could, comin down, put me down, gentle now (The Cut Off.)” He also highlights the effects that the recent digital revolution has on modern romance. This is not a completely new subject, as a couple other artists have also discussed this very real problem of today’s society. You can see his dissatisfaction in “Kevin’s Heart,”(love the word play) and in the slightly cheesy “Photograph.” Although this album is jam packed with deep meaning, J. Cole doesn’t forgot to provide the heat as well. Tracks like “KOD,” and “ATM” absolutely don’t hold back. “ATM” really caught me off guard because it starts off with this woman’s voice telling you “Life can bring much pain, there are many ways to deal with this pain, choose wisely,” but surprisingly goes straight to J. Cole in his element. After hearing these tracks a couple of times, I can honestly say that these slappers might be some of the best tracks released in hip hop this year. On the other hand, the bottom stretch of tracks on this thing were somewhat underwhelming, in my opinion. I see what he was trying to do, but I didn’t see the need for the interludes and long instrumentals, as they just aren’t that fun to listen to, and also feel a little too over dramatic to take seriously. Overall, this is a pretty decent project loaded with personal meaning, but is slightly flawed by moments that come off as melodramatic.
Hits- “KOD” “The Cut Off” “ATM” “Friends”
Misses- “Once an Addict” “Window Pain”