After lying low on the rap scene for almost two years, J. Cole released his fifth studio album on Friday, April 20, 2018, being one of the first major rappers to release an album this year.
The North Carolina rapper gave short notice for this album, only telling fans on April 16 through Twitter. Produced on his own, this album has 12 songs, and the artist does not disappoint once again. The work of art only features one other rapper, kiLL edward, which actually is a pseudonym for J. Cole, so technically there are no features.
The album, called “KOD,” is an acronym for three separate phrases. Cole made the announcement through Twitter saying “KOD” means “Kids On Drugs,” “King Overdosed,” and “Kill Our Demons.” He also said that the rest of the album is left “to your interpretation.” The album does have all explicit songs, but there is also a clean version, all available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music for download and purchasing.
The 2018 album features hits “KOD,” “ATM,” “1985,” and “Kevin’s Heart.” It is expected to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 when the list refreshes. This would be the third straight album that has debuted at #1 for Cole.
The album starts with a skit called “Intro” that embodies the type of album that Cole created. He speaks about social injustices, drugs, and racism.
The first song in the album starts off strong with “KOD.” The song is upbeat and uses a very original beat that has not been seen before in a J. Cole album.
The next song is “Photograph,” a slow-paced rap song that Cole has mastered over the years. Cole loves using the slow rap feel in all of his albums and keeps the tradition going with this song.
“ATM” also broke out as an early hit in the album. It was a really fast-paced song that talked about him making money in the rap game.
Sophomore Adam Goldberg said, “’ATM’ is the best song in this album. His flow is better in this than in every other song in the album.”
The seventh song is “Kevin’s Heart.” The song has no relation to the famed comedian Kevin Hart. It discusses drug abuse in yet another slow-paced song. The song also discusses the stress of being a celebrity and famous rapper.
Sophomore Max Tucker said, “This is one of the best rap albums of the year. J. Cole never disappoints, and I am so happy that he is releasing this surprise album.”
The album also has a hidden gem in “1985” that is believed to be a diss rap aimed at Lil Pump, a rapper that surfaced in late 2017. He talks about new age rap and how it is a phase that needs to be passed because it is not real rap. He also makes passive shots at Pump in the catchy rap. He tells the rapper to stop being fake by acting gang-affiliated and tells him to stop promoting illegal drug use to kids. He finally tells Pump to be a role model in his music.
What is you favorite song from this album and why?