About a year ago, just as the SoundCloud rap ecosystem was beginning to erupt into broader consciousness, some of its most agitated and popular figures — including Lil Pump and XXXTentacion — began screaming, in unprintable language, that the older and more measured rapper J. Cole should kiss off. They said it because it was funny, and borderline improbable. And they said it because Mr. Cole, in his intense aesthetic sobriety, had become the avatar for a style of hip-hop that the young generation had no use for: lyrical, meditative, concerned rather than concerning. For J. Cole, a year-old monastic who is nonetheless one of the most popular rappers of the day, it was maybe a shock to find himself the butt of the joke.
The album incorporates elements of jazz rap and trap. Cole has stated that the production and rhyme schemes used throughout the album were inspired by SoundCloud rap. The album explores a variety of topics including drug abuse , addiction , depression , greed , African-American culture , and taxation in the United States. KOD received positive reviews from critics and debuted atop the US Billboard , selling , album-equivalent units in its first week , coming from pure sales , earning Cole his fifth consecutive number-one album in the country. It also broke several streaming records. KOD appeared on several music publications' mid-year and year-end lists. He said watching Lamar's performance reminded him of Forest Hills Drive. Cole revealed the album's cover art on April 18,
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Cole has consistently dropped great albums since and his numbers tell the same story. This cryptic messaging seems really cool initially, however only two out of the three are blatant in this album. His attack on the drug induced lifestyles of young rappers today checks off the first meaning, and I guess the foundational goal of the whole album adheres to the third meaning. I would be interested to hear J. Cole explain how this album represents the overdosed King. Really though, J. Cole has been an embodiment of real rap in a production heavy hip-hop environment that has very little care for bars, but did KOD go too far?
W hen J Cole announced the imminent arrival of KOD earlier this week, some of excitement was caused by the tracklisting: not the titles themselves so much as the fact that two of them seemed to feature a guest appearance, albeit from a hitherto-unknown artist called kiLL edward. How about you just get the fuck off my dick? Their albums sprawl towards the hour-and-a-half-mark, stuffed with appearances by special guests that sometimes seem to speak less of artistic fraternity and more of ensuring every commercial base is covered. His have increasingly clocked in at a crisp, old-fashioned 45 minutes. Not here. Nor does Cole much bother with the kind of hook-laden banger guaranteed to ensure radio play and crossover pop success. Brackets starts out sounding troublingly like a rich man moaning about having to pay tax, but ends up somewhere very different: an indictment of the inherent racism of US government spending. J Cole: KOD review — a brilliantly brooding antidote to hip-hop excess. J Cole.