The J.Cole Debate
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The J.Cole Debate

The rapper’s new album, ‘KOD,’ is a rebuke to the druggy concerns of a younger generation of rappers

The J.Cole Debate

The enigma of J. Cole. Love him or hate him, his newest album KOD which dropped last Friday, addresses Cole’s rumination on many vices. The album artwork, by Kamaru Hatoon, depicts Cole and many young children, consuming various drugs like lean, xanax and marijuana. On the title track, he’s spitting coke raps and addict braggadocio. He advances further with “1985,” a general-use diss track designed to address new wave, post-Xanax detractors, such as Lil Pump or Smokepurpp. Cole doesn’t practically resist as many contemporary trends as he disparages on “1985”—Cole raps over trap beats, too. “Just remember what I told you when your shit flop / In five years you gon’ be on Love & Hip Hop.”

To some of his haters, J. Cole comes off as corny. Supposedly, he’s musically stale, lyrically clumsy, and personally tepid; a self-righteous square who cultivates the most pedantic rap fandom. However, the facts are he’s one of the best-selling rappers of his generation. In the past few years, Cole has grown from a bright, pop-bound neophyte to a moody ascetic. Increasingly, he’s positioned himself as a genre hermit. With the release of 2014 Forest Hills Drive, Cole famously went “platinum without features,” a stunt that doubles as a catchy brag, and also a summary of Cole’s antisocial approach. Now, Cole is solitary and self-serious.

If the entire hip-hop mainstream sounded like J. Cole, then the genre would indeed sorely lack for musical innovation and challenging, futuristic direction. But, as far as dissents go, Cole’s music is a commercial retreat from consensus. Resigned to the odd corner that the rapper and his critics have carved out for him, Cole has become hip-hop’s premier contrarian.

As for my personal opinion on the album, I enjoyed it for the most part. There isn’t a dull moment and the album is full of in your face ideas. Cole preaches from personal experience on his experience with drugs, and

KOD is a concise, leather-bound audiobook of invaluable life direction goals.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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