Updated: May 3, 2019
King Cole delivered his 5th studio album, another concept project called KOD on 4/20. KOD stands for Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed, and Kill our Demons. The album is about how humans cope with pain through drugs. A part of the reason of Cole’s success has been his ability to be able to point out weaknesses in human behavior without coming across as preachy.
He achieves this by relating to the very same thing he is criticizing to himself. This is shown through the title and throughout the album. The title Kids on Drugs is obvious. There is a drug epidemic with the youth of today. Drugs has always been a problem with all generations but now in hip hop the youth are popularizing doing drugs beyond weed, such as molly, perks, Xanax, and much more.
The second meaning of the title is King Overdosed, is a reference to himself being under the influence. He expounds upon that influence suggesting his own drug, money, and fame abuse. The production is masterful per usual from Cole.
He continues his normal formula besides his last album (For Your Eyes Only) with heavy jazz and soul influence on some songs such as “The Cut Off” and “Once an Addict (Interlude)” coupled with current 808 heavy hip hop production such as “ATM” and “KOD” amongst others. He is continuing to grow as a producer, the beat complexity and harmony in “Kevin’s Heart” and “ATM” is brilliant.
The album is too good for me to give a favorite but it flows like a well-constructed conceptual album. After J explains why and how we are addicted to these manias from social media, drugs, fame, and money he offers a way to Kill Our Demons. This album is exceptionally timely with the constant mental health and drug abuse at the forefront of our culture from Kanye to Kate Spade to Anthony Bourdain we needed a non-judgmental, encouraging and helpful album. Here’s to King Cole, KOD is right on time.