There are very few artists who have managed to carve out a distinct lane in hip-hop the way J. Cole has. After all, the reclusive rapper has unofficially coined the term “platinum with no features” after his 2014 effort, Forest Hills Drive, received platinum certification and he went on to earn another platinum plaque for 4 Your Eyez Only in 2016 with, yes, no features whatsoever.
After laying low on the music front for much of 2017, J. Cole returned on Tuesday (Apr. 16) and posted a cryptic image on his socials asking fans to attend a secret show in NYC. Naturally, fans flocked to the mysterious location and were in for a surprise when Cole took the stage to preview a new project for fans. Shortly after the event, Cole made the announcement fans have been patiently waiting for: “New album. KOD 4/20.”
That’s right, Cole was gearing up to unveil his fifth studio album, KOD, which dropped on Friday morning (Apr. 20). For years, Cole has been lauded for his masterful pen game, but his oft-overlooked beat-making skills have become an integral part of his sonic identity as he deftly blends lush, soulful elements with rhythmic head-bobbing hip-hop sounds. While he’s produced the majority of his own records, Cole has also extended his production skills to a heap of his rap counterparts, including Kendrick Lamar to Wale and Pusha T.
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