Rayburn: reflecting on J Cole’s conscious new album

Isabelle Rayburn

When I first decided to write the KOD album review, at first I was just excited that J. Cole was releasing new music. When I heard the message behind KOD, I knew I had to find a way to share this work and message with other people.

I have been a fan of J. Cole for many years now and am familiar with his style and the way he has constructed messages through lyrics of past albums.  The message in ‘KOD’ was important especially to low-income minority families, which I relate to.  J. Cole speaks about people in his community selling and using drugs which is a common practice in low-income areas in many different places.


The original review published April 23, 2018 can be found online at collegian.com

Drug culture is also strongly apparent in the rap industry. Throughout this album, J. Cole uses his platform to voice his opinion on drugs, which is very contradictory to the rest of the rap community. He raps about how drugs can be an escape for some people but he makes sure to let listeners know that there are better ways to escape everyday life. J. Cole also raps about how money is a big issue with Americans because of greed and love and how it can affect someone throughout their whole life.

While I was writing my “KOD” review, it was actually the first day it was released. I listened to the album about three times before I started analyzing and breaking down the lyrics in writing track by track. Everything J. Cole stated in each song on this album is relatable to what is happening in America today.

J. Cole’s 5th studio album KOD is streaming everywhere.

I received positive reactions from this article. There were people from CSU and my own high school contacting me saying that they were impressed with the deconstruction of the lyrics in each song because they would have never known the underlying meaning to some. There were also many people who didn’t listen to J. Cole that were impressed by his lyricism and have started listening to some of his music because of this article.

Collegian reporter Isabelle Rayburn can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @seiss_diosaa.