Last week, J. Cole released KOD, a thought-provoking album focused on the culture of drug use. Cole himself has said that KOD stands for three different things: Kids on Drugs, King OverDosed, and Kill Our Demons.
The final track of the album, "1985 (Intro to 'The Fall Off')", has become a hot topic since the release, taking a life of its own as a talking point in the divide between the old school and the up-and-coming generations of rap.
To truly understand the song, you need to know the backstory. In 2017, an audacious young rapper from Miami called Lil Pump released a J. Cole diss track. Later in the year, Lil Pump's self-titled debut debuted as the #3 album on the Billboard 200 chart and launched the megahit song "Gucci Gang" on the way to hundreds of millions of song and video streams on various platforms.
J. Cole's responds directly to Lil Pump in "1985 (Intro to 'The Fall Off')," calling him out with the line "I'm fuckin' with your funky lil' rap name." Unlike Lil Pump's short diss track, J. Cole goes deep with a forthright heart-to-heart touched with wit. He praises Lil Pump for his success, but balances that with anecdotal advice, and, in true battle rap style, drops some strong disses back to the 17-year-old neophyte. Cole encourages up-and-coming rappers who identify with his story to save money to buy their "mom a house" and think about the "impact" of their platform.
In a recent interview with New York Magazine's Vulture outlet, J. Cole discusses his stance on the music industry partaking in the normalization of drug use. He has already become a star, and he continues to spark interesting and entertaining commentary.
KOD is available on most major streaming services, as well as Amazon.
Check out J. Cole's Zumic artist page for music, news, and concert tickets.