K.O.D, Kids on Drugs, King Overdose, Killing Our Demons. What a rollout, what a sound, what a project? J. Cole unleashed to the world his fifth studio album on 4/20. When the news came out about the album and I saw the cover art, like most people, I felt like he was going to speak on the current state of the culture. Drugs run the world. He speaks about the self-medicating we, as a society, partake in with different substances. He encourages himself, the people of the world, and the people listening to talk about their problems and seek help. Don’t bury the issue. Instead, face it and overcome it.
In true Cole fashion, the project has no features. There is a listed feature, but that is an alter ego he used on this project. He produced on every track, with the exception of “Kevin’s Heart” and “Friends.” With his hands all over the project, he is able to convey the message he wants. He used the triple time flow and trap beats to speak about serious social issues that plague the hip-hop community. Even though he raps on trap-style beats, he still comes with the classic style that helped him make his staple in the game. Standouts include “Once an Addict,” an introspective look on him watching his mother drink herself through troubling times; “Kevin’s Heart”; and “1985,” which is a suspected introduction to his next album and a diss song at rappers Lil Pump and Smokepurpp.