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The Rise and Fall of You: A KOD Story


Because we gotta destroy before we elevate.- Rick Ross (Apple of My Eye)

Pain. Happiness. What is it? How do you deal with it? Where does one begin and the other end? With the summer coming soon, Cole dropped a different type of gem on us this quarter. He brought to the forefront a few different topics but the main one was addiction. Cole took to Twitter Thursday to highlight the 3 different descriptions of the title KOD.

Kids On Drugs

King Overdosed

Kill Our Demons

There are a couple things that we can dissect about this project but, ultimately, it boils down to the true mortality of the human soul. Drugs have played a big part in hip hop over the past 5 years and some artists have relied on them heavily throughout their careers. We live in a time where before it was cool to be the dealer, now it's cool to be the fiend. J. Cole finds a way to intertwine the common narrative that we see far too much on TV, in the music industry and on social media.

Addiction is a big part of the vices on this album, the abusers and the victims. When we are happy, our addictions of substances can ultimately lead to our destruction. Cole talks of the gateway and snowball effect of the downfall these things.

Something I can appreciate is that he highlights that substances can come in different forms. In the intro, he mentions the ultimate drug: love. Love will have you doing things that you normally wouldn't, just like a substance. Cole mentions money in ATM and what we are willing to do for it. Even in his visual, you get this overt obsession of it. One of the songs that also sticks out is Motiv8. The song, like most of the vice tracks on the album, has a fast, energetic and almost reckless feel. I get the impression that Cole was trying to convey this to the listeners. In the track there is a perfect dichotomy going on.You can see the battle in oneself that Cole is putting on display:

Too many times I swallowed my pride

Get money I'm crackin' a smile, I'm dyin' inside

My demons are close, I'm tryin' to hide

I'm poppin' a pill, I'm feelin' alive

Finally, we have 1985, which is the last song on the album (and will serve as the intro to Cole's next project). I feel like this is a "this is where we are as a culture" track. So, what is it? When does this “Twilight Zone” like narrative of the youth stop?

When do we stop the lean, pills and drugs glorification? Throughout the whole track subliminal shots go out to all the rappers out there that have displayed what J.Cole verbally detest. A spade is a spade. Don't let this happen to you!

#JCole #KOD #Motiva8 #ATM #1985 #Dreamville