Hip Hop heavy weight J. Cole returns with a surprise album, announced only days before it’s release the Roc Nation star details a serious analysis of addiction and society. “KOD” as Cole states stands for Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, and Kill Our Demons, all topics covered in great detail on this latest LP. Avoiding condemnation of the younger generation Cole ops to analyze his own short comings and flaws as a way to compare to a generation heavily linked to addiction of physical substances. Infidelity, stardom, and money are Cole’s non-tangible substances all distracting us from the strongest drug of them all “Love” as the intro states. Cole’s stance on money is less indulgent and more introspective and philosophical the video for “ATM” is a satire on greed and “BRACKETS” is a detailed discovery of our unwanted, or unknown, participation in a corrupt system that is purposely stacked up against people who look like Cole, and ironically the more money our rare stars receive the more they pay back to this corrupt system by default.
“Kevin’s Heart” is a heartfelt confessional on infidelity, a staple in current music it seems following “Lemonade” and “4:44”, the more we have insight into star’s lives the more we are intrigued and unfortunately entertained when personal situations go off track. “Once An Addict” hosts a thought provoking intro “sometimes I think pain is just a lack of understanding, if we could only understand it all would we feel no pain? God must feel no pain. Only joy.. does this mean even our suffering pleases him?” an answer to the heavy philosophical life question to why God allows suffering. “Kids On Drugs” is much more than speaking on today’s Xanax addiction Cole detail’s his mothers addiction, his addiction, and more importantly the root causes of addiction as opposed to solely condemning actions.
Production on KOD is his most concise and solid to date, previously “4 Your Eyez Only” was on point but too somber for most fans. Lyrically Cole proves why he is this era’s Nas, flawlessly switching to modern flows but injecting content and punchlines in a style that regularly lacks what was once considered standard, no filler and no over-used or reused subject matter even as most fall under the same umbrella Cole attacks his concept from ever appropriate angle. “1985 intro to ‘The Fall Off'” concludes the project, somewhat of a diss track Cole gives advice to young artists that have no respect for history and shun the knowledge of the older acts in their genre. “KOD” is a clear example of an artist’s growth and how with each effort one can still mange to sharpen their craft.