If you haven’t heard all of the hoopla about J. Cole’s latest release then you most definitely live under a rock. His latest album, KOD, has been all the buzz in music, particularly hip-hop, and for very good reason. IT’S DAMN F*CKING GOOD! Now I know he can be a surprisingly polarizing figure in hip-hop, some people think he’s the next coming of christ and others think he’s the musical equivalent to ambien; I don’t fall in either camp, but I feel like KOD is an album that can bridge the gap between both camps. While he does still produce all of the songs, he does a much better job of incorporating upbeat songs that can and will be played on the radio, which was something that was sorely lacking on his last album, and the themes and issues he touches on throughout the album still hit extremely close to home. He’s always been one of the most relatable artists out and that fact continues to be true here. Sooo much of what he is speaking of speaks directly to me and about what I experience. I’ve been as critical of his music as any one out there, but Cole absolutely knocked it out of the park with KOD – easily his most relatable project yet that has something for everyone. If you’re still in the ‘hate J. Cole’ camp after this then you’re just not listening enough or you haven’t experienced life enough. Simple as that.
CARE FOR ME is an absolutely gorgeous project with lush soundscapes that allows Saba to lay down deep, emotional, introspective gem after deep, emotional, introspective gem. It's an exploration of grief, isolation, and trying to cope with the woes of life. But it's more cathartic than masochistic with glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.
Bobby Tarantino II feels like a 'I can do that too, but better' type of situation and while lyrically and rapping wise he may be better than a lot of the 'pop' rappers out there, the songs don't carry that same sort of swag or impact as theirs. These are more watered down versions of what's already out there and popular, and when you're whole premise of a tape is jacking styles, then this becomes a major problem.
If you're looking for some insane wordplay from one of the best lyricists out there and love Premier's classic scratches and essential hip-hop beat making then you're in for something special. If however, you're looking for that more contemporary style of rap that's full of breakdowns, beat switch ups, conceptual stories, and experimentation with other genres, then this is definitely not for you.
“I know that vengeance is the Lord’s and it’s not for me I know the punishment for you is that you not with me You place your value on the bitches that you got with me And now the bitches ask you daily “Why you not with me?” I had to cut some people off ’cause they was using me My heart is big, I want to give too much”
Have you heard KOD? What’d you think about it? Did it speak to you as much as it spoke to me and where would you rank it among his catalog? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
J. Cole – KOD Reaction
I'm a fan but I've been as critical of his music as any one out there, but Cole absolutely knocked it out of the park with KOD. Easily his most relatable project yet that has something for everyone. If you're still in the 'hate J. Cole' camp after this then you're just not listening enough or you haven't experienced life enough. Simple as that.