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J. Cole released his fifth studio album ‘KOD’

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J. Cole's newest album 'KOD.'

J. Cole's newest album 'KOD.'

Instagram/realcoleworld

Instagram/realcoleworld

J. Cole's newest album 'KOD.'

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J. Cole is a rap artist who is known for his unapologetic and straightforward music, and his most popular song, “Wet Dreams.” The song has a very smooth and mellow beat allowing for the song to convey a storytelling vibe. There is no doubt that upon hearing the beat you will start rapping the lyrics.

On April 20, 2018, J. Cole released his album KOD, which was certified platinum; meaning it has sold over one million copies since it came out. This is the fifth album Cole has released that has become certified platinum without having any features on it.

The album takes a compelling and difficult turn as the 12 track album talks about personal, social, mental, and political issues. In the tracks “The Cut Off” and “Once an Addict,” Cole allows his audience to take a listen into his personal life and his struggle. Specifically, in “The Cut Off” he uses a fast-paced and overpowering chorus that repeats throughout the song. Cole then contradicts this fast-paced beat with his slower, deeper voice as he raps about those who he no longer trusts and reflects on himself as a person. Then in “Once an Addict,” Cole touches on addiction and mental illness. He raps “She kill a whole bottle of some cheap chardonnay, I gotta leave this house ’cause part of me dies when I see her like this” he purposefully drops the beat behind his rapping in order to hear his passionate lyrics as he raps about his experience with a mentally ill and alcoholic mother. Through the songs “BRACKETS” and “ATM” he touches on economic and political issues. With “ATM” he has a very eerie into with a very slow and sluggish high pitched intro that leads into his fast-paced rapping. In the song, he touches on the fact that people focus on money but in the end that money will not come with us. In “BRACKETS” he starts off the song with a snippet from a game show and then transitions into a mellow rhythmic hum. His rapping emerges and he begins talking about the misrepresentation of colored teachers in schools, the lack of knowledge of where tax money goes, and the school curriculum as a whole.

KOD takes a different route compared to the rest of Cole’s albums. KOD takes a more eerie tone as Cole, in many of the tracks, uses autotune to warp his voice to make it higher or lower along with fast or slow paced beats to teleport the audience into a darker realm of Cole’s mind. He also revamps his music with his amazing lyrical ability to help express his passion for the topics he is rapping about.

Overall, KOD sticks out as a controversial album. It hits very personal and hard topics not only for Cole but worldwide as he speaks publicly about his own experiences with mental, political, and social issues. This album is an outcry for his thoughts on what is currently happening in society and it is unapologetically a true piece of J. Cole’s life.

About the Writer
Malina Gonzalez, Multimedia
Grade: 12 Most passionate about: No idea Teletubby that relates to you most:  Laa-Laa Favorite book:  The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay Life soundtrack: “You Only Live Once” by The Strokes / “Careless Whisper” by George Michael
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