When we speak of Rhythm And Poetry-RAP, we speak of literature and all that it encompasses -such as its influence on the social construction of people’s reality, the evolution of their thought, speech and action processes, as well as their perception on futuristic events. RAP is more than just spitting bars and hitting rhymes. It involves Impact, lessons, and a message; a well-communicated message.
Jermaine Lamar Cole’s new album hasn’t failed in addressing any of these subjects. The album titled KOD, is a 3 in 1 acronym for Kids on Drugs, Kill our Demons and King Overdose. It is a follow up on his 2016 ‘for your eyes only’ (4yeo). With 12 tracks, the album is an exposition to drug usage and addiction to not just drugs but to money, sex, and the internet.
From the album artwork, the three themes of KOD are well represented. Cole the King overdose sitting on a throne with the ‘kids on drugs at his feet and some ghost-like figures behind them, representing the Demons to be killed.
The album is a pastry of extreme finesse. It is storytelling at its best. Never once has Jermaine failed in baking good food for us to chew, enjoy and digest. KOD describes Jermaine’s childhood and youth days and all of the drugs surrounding him. Photograph introduces internet addiction and ‘mobile love’ /love today’s gone digital/ while analyzing how social media has become like an addiction. ‘The cut off’ talks about relationships and betrayal where he features Kill Edward, seemingly his alter ego. The addict Edward is a representation of addicts around him whom he’s trying to get off drug usage.
‘ATM’ and ‘Motivat8’ talk about addiction to money and the possessive want to /get money/, which /you can’t take it when you die, but you can’t live without it//. Kevin’s heart talks about the pressures of sex and cheating. In Bracket, JCole exposes us to the unfair taxation and educational system, while expressing his addiction problems and regrets /lookin’ back I wish I woulda did more instead of running/. In ‘FRIENDS’, Cole talks more about drug addiction by dissecting its causes surrounding childhood dilemmas, and suggested methods to get off medication and drug usage by saying / One thing about your demons they bound to catch up one day, I’d rather see you stand up and face them than run away/, /meditate/.
Window pain is Cole’s reflection on all he thought was important and the things that truly matter which he hopes to attain. He expresses gratitude for what he has and converses with a girl about ‘why bad things happen’. 1985, the last track in the album -which may be an intro to another project ‘The fall off ’or a diss to the ‘lil whatevers’- examines Cole’s life from his birth in 1985 while also offering words of wisdom to contemporary ‘lil’ rap artists who seem to have lost their way.
I would easily pick KOD and Brackets as my favourite tracks for the depth in their lyrical composition, the rap pace in appropriation to the content as well as the blending of their beats. There’s hardly any song I would wish wasn’t on the album. There’s no doubt the album would soon go platinum, once again with no features as in the case of Forest Hill Drive and For Your Eyez Only. For a work he recorded in two weeks, he sure deserves some accolades. But then again, it’s Cole, the lyrical genius, the legendary rapper of our generation… What can he not do? This album easily enters his top 3, with the likes of Born Sinner and Forest Hills Drive. In less than a week, the album has broken the Apple music streaming record of most album streams within 24 hours of its release (a record previously held by Drake’s Views album) with a total of 64.5 million streams. With 0 guest features, it now holds the record for most first-day U.S. album streams on Spotify. We can only look forward to the prodigy breaking more records.
It’s a Cole World, and KOD is ice in the middle of summer.
Written by Tiffy