Track by track: J.Cole tells fans to Choose Wisely with ‘KOD’

Isabelle Rayburn

The artist who wrote “Born Sinner” confessed his sins in his new album “KOD.”

J.Cole is known as the artist who went platinum with no features on his album “2014 Forest Hills Drive.” Fans got to experience his life stories throughout the album starting from his childhood transitioning to his adulthood. This album was very impactful for low-income families, minorities and people struggling with depression and now he just had a surprise release called “KOD.”

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J.Cole has released his third secret album on 4/20 titled “KOD” that consists of 12 tracks. The title is an acronym that has three meanings, “Kids On Drugs,” “King Overdose” and “Kill Our Demons.” This album surprisingly has two features, different from his last couple of albums that had no features. Even though he does have features, the person is still him it’s just his alter ego. This is one of the first albums when he opens up about drug use, money, power and greed.

This album is completely different from his most recent released album “For Your Eyez Only,” which was very soulful, jazzy feel to it and was mostly about love and family.

“Intro”

The intro gives off Kendrick Lamar “God is gangsta” vibes as a woman is speaking over a jazz beat about different feelings she keeps repeating, “Choose wisely.”

“KOD”

Cole kicks off the album with “KOD,” named after the title of the album. This is when the introduction to the drugs comes in  “power, greed, money, molly, weed, perks, xannys, lean, fame and the strongest drug of them all…Love” Not only is J Cole trying to portray real drugs, he also mentions the way that money and power and other things could also be a drug and people are being so corrupted by it.

“Photograph”

After “KOD,” J Cole turns to a more soulful beat in “Photograph.” The lyrics are about how he fell in love with a girl just by a picture, even though he doesn’t know her in real life, which is relatable to some depending on social medias to find love. We move on to “The Cut Off (ft. KiLL edward)” the chorus is “gimme drink, gimme dope, bottom line I can’t cope if I die I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know” J. Cole would rather be on drugs and stay high instead of dealing with any of his problems. The album so far overall has a lot of energy. Depending on the song, J Cole knows what types of beats to use.

“ATM”

The beat has the sound of an ATM machine in it. This song is really all about how money has been controlling and people will really do anything to get the amount of money they want. This is a part of greed being a drug.

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“Motiv8”

This track about how money is the motivation, which connects to the last track. Cole even uses a sample from a Junior M.A.F.I.A. song called “Get Money”. “Too many times I swallow my pride (Get Money) I’m crackin’ a smile, I’m dying inside my demons are close, I’m trying to hide I’m poppin’ a pill, I’m feeling alive.” Swallowing his pride is actually him taking the pill. The drugs are uses as an escape.

“Kevin’s Heart” 

This gives us a more calm beat at first and becomes more upbeat as it drops. This track is about a woman but can also be interpreted to be about drug use too. “She my number one I don’t need nothing on the side, said that I was done for good and don’t want no more lies, but my phone be blowing up temptations on my line, I stare at the screen a while before I press decline, but she plants a seed and it still lingers in my mind, told myself I’m strong enough to take it and I’m trying.” This could have a double meaning about a woman or about how he keeps thinking about the drugs and how he said that he was done and is trying to stop thinking about them no matter how many temptations he gets.

“BRACKETS” 

In the beginning, we get a talking piece from Richard Pryor. J. Cole has inserted these in many of his tracks such as “No Role Modelz” where he used a George Bush speech. This track is about how America takes all this tax money but no one knows where it’s going. Underrepresented schools and communities still don’t have the supplies that they need but money is still being taken away.

“Once An Addict (interlude)”

This track is about coping with pain from things going on in your life.  “Life can bring much pain. There are many ways to deal with this pain. Choose Wisely.” It seems like J. Cole is trying to tell listeners not to turn to wrong things and make right decisions, not only with drugs but in life all together.

“FRIENDS (ft. KiLL edward)”

This song is also about addiction. “I’m aggravated without it, my saddest days are without it, my Saturday’s are the loudest I’m blowing strong.” Throughout the song, he’s saying we could blame all these things for addiction but at the end of the day he wants everyone to stop running from their demons and face them. He gives another way to cope at the end of the song, which is meditation.

“Window Pain (Outro)”

This song also starts off with a child talking about how he heard his cousin get shot. J.Cole raps about how he’s always wanted materialistic things and realized that he wasn’t looking for the right things in life and recognizes that he needs to be worried about things that are more important than his fame, drugs and money.

“1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”)”

Even though that was the outro, that was not the end of the album. We actually get an intro for the end called, “1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”).” This implies that we’re getting something else from him in the near future. “1985” seems like it’s a diss track, but it is controversial if it’s about one rapper or many people.

Overall, this is a great album to listen to.“KOD” was intended to be an album against drug use. J.Cole wanted to bring awareness to the ways that Americans are living these days depending on money and drugs to get their way through life. He wanted to let everyone know that there is always another choice but he leaves us with one thing.

Choose Wisely.

Collegian reporter Isabelle Rayburn can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @Seiss_Diosaa.