What is J. Cole Doing?
If I’m being honest, I have no clue what J. Cole has been doing lately. But, I definitely know what he’s doing right now. It’s very apparent.
April 20th of 2018, J. Cole dropped a brand new 12-track album, KOD. I still don’t know what this stands for, but my guess is “King Of something.” That seems to be what’s going on here.
I don’t keep up with Cole, so I had no idea this was coming until it was right there on my phone. You know what’s crazy? How prominent and distinguishable his album concept is.
It’s a cartoon-ish temptation of euphoria. Cole is this weary, encrusted King.
There’s a back lay of a drug-intensified trope — these kids are exploring complete influence of money and substance. It almost has a Stranger Things nod.
With this record, one thing is clear:
J. Cole is one wise motherf***
Once I arrived on track 5 this morning, I knew it was a wrap.
I spotted it instantly.
I tweeted this at 9AM. The music video dropped 3 hours later.
And the video? Woooow. 👏
I’ll say this: ATM’s video can only be described as innovative. You ever just know when you see something you’ve never ever seen before? I can say with confidence, the video’s theatrics are unbeknownst in the current state of hip-hop.
It’s a feeew steps ahead.
First off, J. Cole is really in the video. I mean like really in the video.
He’s carrying an entire storyline of assorted characters all by himself.
It’s almost like he’s not acting — he’s just living with the song and all its trappings.
Stylistically speaking, the video is beautiful.
Here are some photos that belong to Roc Nation Records and not me:
There’s also an entire segment of Cole reaching into a “money bag” where his conscience seems to live. How’s that for symbolism? Or maybe it’s foreshadowing… one of those.
I don’t think anyone questions J. Cole’s ability to rap. We’ve all pretty much come to a consensus: the guy can bar. He’s right up there with that other acclaimed “King.” *cough, cough Kendrick*
But Cole is more poetic — that’s one thing I’ve always personally enjoyed about him, as an artist.
On “ATM,” he rhymes:
“ Count it up, count it up, count it up. Count it.
Can’t take it when you die. But you can’t live without it. “
That’s deep. And J. Cole is deep, too. You know he writes all his songs?— that’s what he is, he’s a writer, a poet and a singer and a rapper and he’s pretty damn good at all of ‘em.