Relentless Beats

J. Cole is Back and Better Than Ever on ‘KOD’

Last week J. Cole released his fifth studio album, KOD. The album title has multiple meanings: Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed and Kill Our Demons, and J. Cole explores those dark demons on this latest collection of work. In the past, J. Cole has been a targeted for his quote-unquote “boring” lyrics, but the North Carolina artist isn’t one to follow the trends, especially when the trends involve mumble rap and empty rhymes.

Setting the trend is exactly what he does on this new album. In 12-tracks over 42 minutes, J. Cole speaks about addiction, mental health, death, and approval. Listen to KOD below.

KOD differs greatly from his previous album 4 Your Eyez Only. When it dropped in late 2016 Cole had just gotten married and become a father, and was generally laying low. Now, I don’t think a single person discounts J. Cole for making an album about his new domesticated life, but it didn’t have the same ‘oomph’ we saw in previous bodies of work like Born Sinner and 2014 Forest Hills Drive. With KOD that fire has returned. It’s powerful and compelling, AND it contains a very rare feature from a largely unknown artist kiLL edward, who some are saying is Cole’s alter ego. If you are your own feature can you still go triple platinum with no features?

KOD broke both Spotify and Apple Music’s 24-hour streaming record and continues to spark conversations. J. Cole has already announced a deluxe version of the album with exclusive content in the works, so keep your ears and eyes open.

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