By: Austin Prim
This is going to be short, sweet and to the point. KOD was more of the same. This album was just another wheel added to spin inside the ever-turning hamster wheel that Cole’s albums continue to run in circles on. No progression. No risks taken. Nothing different, just more of the same. I’ve told you what the problem with J. Cole is already; beat selection, and subject matter. It’s mundane, monotone, redundant, repetitive, anticlimactic, stagnant etc. The only difference between KOD and previous albums are the added 808s and use of trap-like hi-hats. That’s about it.
Cole has always been a great rapper. I love artists with a message, but, there’s a limit! Someone tweeted “You can be a rapper of intelligence and substance and still produce music that doesn’t put people to sleep.” That’s a perfect summation of my issue with Jermaine. He’s so focused on making sure that the medicine he’s proscribing is going to help his patients, that he’s ignoring the fact that he has to persuade people to take it. If you have the cure for an ailment that most people have, but drowsiness is a side effect, people can only take it at certain times. You can’t take the medicine before you drive, when you’re out with friends, nor when you have work to do. You can only take it before bed. J. Cole’s albums contains therapies for a lot of diseases in hip-hop as well as the black community, but the side effects aren’t worth the trouble. It limits the reach.
Artists like Kendrick, Big K.R.I.T., Nipsey Hussle and even Logic have messages in their music. But the beat selection and the delivery of the message is more welcoming than Cole’s. I wanted to enjoy this album. I wanted this to be the outlier in Cole’s track-record of the same old, same old thing. It wasn’t. Listen to the album. If you like it, great! If you don’t like it, I understand. This is not a bad album. It’s…it’s just…boring.