After a lengthy two-year break since his last album, 4 Your Eyez Only, J. Cole released his fifth studio album, K.O.D.. Within the first 24 hours of its release, the album was already breaking records on both Spotify and Apple Music. K.O.D. was streamed 64.5 million times on Apple Music (beating the previous record holder Drake with Views) and 36.7 million times on Spotify, all within the first 24 hours of its release.
Personally, I can’t say that I’m surprised. This is a guy who has a double platinum album in 2014 Forest Hills Drive, without any features, barely any marketing and no promotion prior to its release, under his belt. K.O.D., another one of his albums with no features, contains his characteristic story-telling style, “outsider” point of view and organic sound.[pullquote]Its serious tone tackles important issues and it can at times be hard to listen to[/pullquote]
Cole has said that K.O.D. has three meanings; Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed, and Kill our Demons. The overall theme of the album is addiction; online addiction, money addiction, drug and alcohol addiction. Containing twelve tracks (featuring two features by 'kiLL Edward', J. Cole's alter ego) he contemplates monogamy, his own substance abuse, as well as substance abuse by his close ones.
Much like 4 Your Eyez Only, this album isn’t one that you can listen to at pre-drinks to get hyped up. Its serious tone tackles important issues and it can at times be hard to listen to, but that isn’t to say it’s not an amazing album. It just doesn’t contain songs that can come in one ear and out the other.
Something that absolutely blew my mind, is the song 'Kevin’s Heart'. On it, J. Cole contemplates infidelity and loyalty within monogamous relationships. What took me embarrassingly long to realise, is the fact that he called it Kevin’s Heart because of Kevin Heart and his very public affair, where he cheated on his pregnant wife. I may be biased because I absolutely adore J. Cole, but that is T-Pain-rhyming-mansion-with-Wisconsin genius.