J. Cole - KOD Review

J. Cole's KOD's title track starts out hungry, running with another persona boasting over hard bass, brooding synths and luring harmonies. This immediate assumption of another character follows the storytelling that threads the artist's nine project career together. Cole began kneading out tales of his own life, then his home, and now he's spreading trap-drum-coated medicine for the youth, and their many addictions.

    Photograph delves into Instagram escapism over dripping bass lines accented by sharp high hats while ATM contrasts choral anthems with chest thumping kicks, and the fast money lifestyle with the "big bills" that inevitably follow. BRACKETS slows over a net of percussion and soothing acoustic guitar. Cole reveals the ugly surprise of Uncle Sam's cut, furiously questioning the disproportionate destination of the tax money. His line,

Democracy is too fucking slow/If I'm giving y'all this hard earned bread, I wanna know/Better yet let me decide/Bitch it's 2018/Let me pick the things I'm funding from an app on my screen

demanding a solution, actually, isn't a bad idea.  

    1985 (Intro to "The Fall Off") shakes off the notorious Lil Pump diss with a instrumental and flow straight off A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory. Lyrically spinning a young rapper through backhanded counsel, wisdom dripping with condescension, the 33-year-old Cole stops on the racial impact of these young rappers, and the "hip-hop hypocrisy sold to white economies" (Noname - Members Only) that results in their dissipation due to fast fans and fading trends.

    KOD is another impressive step in the discography of the Fayetteville storyteller. J. Cole delivers searing messages over smooth productions that call the youth like a siren song. While Cole's album challenges any rapper reliant on addictions and trends, KOD is not fighting words to his peers, it's just hip-hop from the newest old head.

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Andis Solomon is a filmmaker from Portland, OR focused on sustainable abstractionism. He is currently pursuing concurrent degrees at the University of Denver in Film Studies & Production and Marketing.