KOD is J. Cole’s long-anticipated fifth studio album. The 12-track album serves as a follow up to his 2016 album, 4 Your Eyez Only. Unlike his last two albums, KOD has a lone feature from an artist named kiLL Edward—a pitched-down version of Cole’s voice that serves as his alter ego.
Leading up to the album debut, Cole hosted many exclusive listening events where he played the project in full. According to Chris Uño, who was in attendance at J. Cole’s surprise listening party at New York’s Grammercy Theatre, the “KOD” title can be taken three different ways:
Kids On Drugs
Kill Our Demons
The album’s release date of April 20, 2018, could be a reference to the “420” code in cannabis culture, which includes smoking at 4:20 p.m. and on April 20th. The album’s cover art, speculated album title abbreviations, and frequent mentions of drug use in lyrics of songs support this notion.
Chris Uño also reported that the album was recorded in the span of two weeks, and contains no features, making it his third album in a row to not contain guest features. This report turned out to be somewhat true. The album’s only listed feature is KiLL edward, who turned out to actually be J. Cole, pitched down.
Following the listening party, Cole took to Twitter to announce the album. The album art and tracklist were revealed on April 18th, two days before the album released.
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