J. Cole - KOD
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2018 Ratings: #623 / 890
User Score
2018 Rank: #671
Liked by 206 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

92
HipHopDX

J. Cole has a gift in turning tears into teaching tools and KOD is a concise, leather-bound audiobook of invaluable life direction goals.

90
The Young Folks

King Cole is back, and he brings with him a beautifully constructed album about redemption, finding true love, and figuring out what’s important in life. KOD is a masterpiece.

80
NME

The North Carolina rapper goes from strength to strength with his powerful fifth album.

80
Exclaim!

On his latest record, J. Cole continues to be a beacon of social issues, allowing KOD to be a vessel that addresses different states of addiction, both direct and indirect, and its effects on society.

80
XXL

While there are moments where Cole comes off more as a condescending high school principal than earnest older brother, KOD is an overall strong effort that connects of emotional trauma, mental health stigma in the Black community and the real problem of drug glorification.

80
The Guardian

With only an alter-ego for company, J Cole casts himself as rap’s moral compass with this masterfully pared-back fifth album.

80
NOW Magazine

Cole doesn’t sacrifice any inch of rhythm or melody while detailing his cautionary tales. It’s clear he’s mastered the art of hiding medicine in candy.

75
Consequence of Sound

He doesn’t finesse his points; he douses them in gasoline and blows them up. And that’s great! We could all do with more fiery explosions in our music. Sometimes Cole gets wacky, but thankfully he’s never dull.

70
AllMusic

As the value of Cole's witticisms, and the intellect required to decrypt full meaning of his verses, continues to be debated, the increased strength in his clear-cut writing evinces promise of greater work ahead.

70
Rolling Stone

K.O.D. magnifies Cole's current status as a deliberate outsider, well versed in pop music's machinations even as he refuses to take part in them.

63
Pitchfork

On his new addiction-themed album, KOD, he loves to suggest that people should abstain from things—smoking, drinking, online dating. Sometimes, he’s persuasive, but just as often, he simply seems self-righteous.

60
PopMatters

From the onset of the album, we know what we're in store to receive. Whereas DAMN. finds Kendrick Lamar twisting and turning through wickedness and weakness, wrestling often through the same issues found here, Cole delivers it straight.

60
Spectrum Culture
When Cole talks about the world, he comes off too self-righteous, but when he hones in on his own world, or the shortened gravitational pull of specific figures, he finds a clarity that few of his peers can match.
50
The Needle Drop

J. Cole brings a lot of heart and salient points on KOD, but it's yet another mixed bag.

50
Highsnobiety
At the end of the day, the problem with J. Cole is this: he knows his limitations, and he just doesn’t care. He’d rather be the self-appointed voice of a generation than dig that little bit deeper and deliver his message in a way that might be more exciting, more innovative, more out-there.
40
Sputnikmusic

He’s always had a misguided obsession with the state of popular rap music, but KOD inflates that obsession into something bordering on pathological, if not rabid fulmination.

BradTasteMusic
NR

Did the man who invented college go to college?

Z.Younk
20

He cements his place in hip-hop history with this one... as the corniest dude in the game.

frienderman
55

Power, greed, money, Molly, weed
Percs, Xanny, lean, fame
And the strongest drug of all...

...the morphine I took to lessen the physical pain that this album caused me

Homelessman
72

Cole's transition into trap was kind of a rough one. This was much less impactful than 2014 forest hills. Gotta admire him for 1985 though. One of the most polite diss tracks oat.

89

This is spectacular, from 1985 to ATM, this is an underrated masterpiece imo

bruhstigs
49

worlds hardest try to stay awake challenge

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Track List

1Intro
1:47
63
2KOD
3:11
72
3Photograph
3:38
61
4The Cut Off
3:57
63
5ATM
3:36
78
6Motiv8
2:13
60
7Kevin's Heart
3:20
77
8BRACKETS
5:15
70
9Once an Addict
3:17
76
10FRIENDS
4:17
65
11Window Pain
4:46
76
121985 (Intro to The Fall Off)
3:10
81
Total Length: 42 minutes
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Added on: April 17, 2018