Everyone seems to lose their minds whenever I tell them that I don’t like J. Cole. From their reactions, you’d think he was hip hop’s Jesus. I’ve listened to his past albums Cole World: The Sideline Story and Born Sinner and I didn’t like them, and because of that I had no interest in listening to the album that went platinum with no features 2014 Forest Hills Drive or 4 Your Eyez Only. Since it’s 2018, and surreal things have been happening to me, I figured that I’ll try to listen to J. Cole’s most recent release KOD. I told myself, and my friends, that I would listen to it without bias and give it my honest opinion. If I like a J. Cole album then you know something’s up in the world. Regardless, me even listening to KOD proves that.
I liked that KOD was only 42 minutes long so I wouldn’t have to take much time out of my day to listen to it a couple times. I celebrated April 20th, then I hit the play button.
After the album finished playing, I took my time to contemplate what I wanted to say about it. I wanted to be respectful to the artist, J. Cole, and give it my honest, unbiased opinion, like I said. All in all, I didn’t like KOD, which J. Cole said stands for Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed, or Kill Our Demons. With the album releasing on 4/20, it wasn’t hard to realize it’d be about drugs. (That’s a very vague and broad summary.)
Whenever someone asked me why I don’t like J. Cole I never had a concrete answer. I always said it’s because he’s boring and I don’t like his beats. I compare him to Kendrick Lamar by saying that Kendrick is a so called ‘conscious’ rapper, too, but Kendrick is a lot better than J. Cole. Those aren’t solid reasons, though. I realized that I don’t like J. Cole, or KOD, at least because what he is rapping about is not what I need to hear in my life. J. Cole didn’t say anything that would positively affect my life or make my day better. I didn’t learn anything that will help me be a better person. I just didn’t feel inspired; that’s a good way to put it. The music by my favorite artists, and the music I’ve been listening to more recently, not only sounds great but it also inspires me to fulfill my potential. Even songs that are not lyrical or ‘conscious’ inspire, me but that’s a deeper blog post.
On KOD J. Cole raps about important or ‘conscious’ issues like drug abuse and how to deal with it. He raps about mental illness. He raps about spending your money wisely because it wont last. He raps about the government and race conflicts. J. Cole writes important bars, there’s no doubting it, but he has to be able to deliver it in a better way. In a more listenable way.
There were a few songs on KOD that I did like, though. J. Cole finished the album strong because the songs I liked the most are at the end: ‘FRIENDS’, ‘Window Pain – Outro’, and ‘1985 – Into to “The Fall Off”.
I would rate KOD a 6/10 or 3/5; it was okay but closer to being bad than good. I listened to it twice and I’ll probably hear it more times while I’m hanging out with my friends. I wont disrespect the art but I also won’t choose to listen to KOD again.