J. Cole makes statement with KOD

Jermaine Cole has done it again. After a publicly regarded disappointment with All Eyez on Me, J. Cole has come back stronger and better than ever. KOD has the two most important aspects to making a good album. 1. It sounds good and 2. It has an important message. It’s filled with symbolism that is open to interpretation. It’s truly a work of art the way he bends the limits of public conception.  Even J. Cole admits that the album’s title, KOD, doesn’t have  definitive meaning behind the acronym. J. Cole takes a hard stance about drug use in today’s generation and the forefront of the new age in rap. But trust me, this isn’t your mom’s after school special. KOD is the greatest album that Cole has released. Yes, I know how great Forest Hills Drive was, but that’s just how great the album is. It has the message. It has the sound and everything that Jermaine has stapled in his career. There aren’t any features on this album either, just an objectified and autotuned voice that portrays the garbage music being released lately.

KOD– There are three meanings behind the album’s title: Kids On Drugs, King OverDosed or Kill Our Demons. All of those central underlying themes that bury themselves inside the title’s acronym are dusted off on the first song in the project.

KOD, however you see it, is a preface for the albums. The song mainly follows the point of view of a dealer and could potentially lie with the preface of the theme kill our demons. That would also serve as to why Cole adds lines throughout the track defending himself against the Internet’s hate.

He says things that conclude to his double platinum album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, as well as his response to the everlasting question as to why he refuses to use features in his songs. The second verse of the song is a biographical about the drugs and violence he had to deal with growing up.

The beat and instrumental heavily represents and coincides with the storyline to the song. It resembles a combination of trap and old school instrumentals. The heavy bass resonates the idea of how hard it was growing up amongst all the drugs that surrounded him. It portrays the protagonist in the second verse, who is the alpha male with the hard attitude needed to survive.

ATM– There isn’t a catchier sound on any track than ATM. The chorus and beat equally bring an uptempo style that goes hard. The moral of this song is the problem with having too much money and no way to spend it properly. The song shows a decent amount of symbolism and moral, but the true message lies in the music video.

First, J Cole is pictured in a crown and throne (because he’s the king, of course) dragging behind him a pack of children flying high in the sky atop a magic carpet made of pill bottles and other various drugs. Cole represents rap as a whole, leading kids filled with drugs to the one thing that matters most: money.

The remaining scenes are filled with Cole blowing his massive bags of cash on irrelevant objects to gain the most important and intangible thing in today’s society: clout. It eventually causes too many problems, with the biggest problem of all being a shiny new ride, forcing him to fork over his decapitated arm and leg. Symbolic, no?

In the end, Cole sits amongst the cartoon desert, dead, with a single dollar bill floating down and landing on his shoulder. The magic carpet ride of money and drugs sail over in the sky, and the screen cuts to the album’s theme: choose wisely.

Cole’s exposé tells an important story not being drowned in the mainstream yet. While some rappers sit in a room of money and drugs, the youth mindlessly follows behind.

Kevin’s Heart– An innuendo of two important things is the moral of this story. It tells two intertwining but separate stories that can go either way.

“Loving you is a crime,” is something that signifies the mistress point of view, as well as the love for the addiction of herbal remedies. First, portrayed in the music video released earlier this week, is Kevin Hart’s cheating scandal. Broke by Heart himself, it shows an exaggerated life of post-cheating life with Hart.

The heart’s that are worn on the sleeve of Hart’s jacket are met with two reactions: a disappointed, miffed response from an older generation; and a welcoming and lustful response from the younger females spotlighted in the video. Ultimately, Hart lands in a restaurant bathroom where a giant, grizzled man says the words that have become a human necessity in the age of the Internet. “You’re only human. Learn from it.”

The other aspect, back to the drugs, is in love with the dopamine. Logic introduced this school of thought to me in the song Niki, and I think it follows the same portrayal here. She, is referenced many times throughout the song, leaving us with no answer but inference. Either way, the two converging storylines are united by one single phrase: choose wisely.

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