Okayyyyyyy, so you’ve had just over a week to vibe with Cole’s album KOD. What are your thoughts on Cole’s new album? Is it what you were expecting? Lets discuss (25 marks)...
So first things first, before we get on to the music, can we talk about the artwork? We have a glassy-eyed King Cole emerging from an array of vibrant reds and purples with children smoking, snorting and poppin’ (pills that is) under his majestic cloak. The album artwork is faintly stamped with “This album is in no way intended to glorify addiction” - the message - and a glassy-eyed Cole surrounded by “Kids on Drugs” is surely a testament to this. Whether or not you are a fan of artwork, we have to give it up to Kamau Haroon a.k.a. Sixmau - a very talented artist.
Right, now onto the music…well, we might be a little bias over here at THERUMISRED. but we’ll keep our objective cap on for this one. We think the album ranks at No.1 or No.2 from Cole. On first listen, from the time we heard track 2 “K.O.D” we knew it was going to be a different type of album. And what does K.O.D stand for “Kidz On Drugz,” “King Overdose,” and “Kill Our Demons.“? Whatever the meaning of the album we can all sit back, listen and take something from the album.
Cole takes us away on a journey again, not as structured as the story he told us on 4 Your Eyez Only, but a journey of self-reflection as he talks on a topic so relevant to our generation…drugs. We’ve seen it in the news, we’ve heard it in our music and Cole kindly lists the drugs impacting our society at the end of KOD – it is something we can all relate to in some way, shape or form. K.O.D (the album) shows us how the easily accessible drugs has become and that their usage has become interdependent with our culture, our society and our community in a variety of ways: for escape, influence, creativity, habit and experiment. I guess the question is, is that a bad thing? That is for you to decide, but remember to meditate (FREINDS - 3:06).
One thing to note about this album is despite its message (which is all down to your interpretation really) it’s undeniably a vibey-stoners album. We first noticed the dropped-in piano keys behind kILL edward vocals (Cole’s alter-ego
) on ‘The Cut Off’, the vibey bass guitar on ‘BRACKETS’ and enhanced reverbs and echo creating that spacey/floating effect on ‘Once an addict (Interlude)’ - the foundation of the album. This, plus Cole’s naturally-lazy style of singing paints that kickback mood. You can also hear the heavy influence of 90s Rap and Hip-Hop as the tracks on the album remind us of that J Dilla-like beat structure (and if you don’t know J Dilla click here
) which takes us to the earlier ages of Hip-Hop.
So we’ve commented on the message, the vibe and the artwork, but what are your top 5 tracks from the album? Here’s our Top 5:
- Window Pain
- Kevin’s Heart
What do you think? Have we got it right, have we got it wrong? We’ll definitely follow up with a podcast on this so you can hear the debate on Cole and music more generally. We won’t even get into the debate about Cole’s best album, we just know that this album here is FIRE🔥🔥🔥
Before we go, for you die-hard Cole fan’s, check out Paul Cantor’s interview/article with Cole - here!...also check out the ATM video!
And Cole, if you’re reading this…see you at Wireless.