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J. Cole pulls an end run on the very concept of taste

Internets, The new J. Cole album Kids on Drugs hit the Internets last night, just in time for me to n

Life in a Shanty Town

April 20 · Issue #52 · View online
The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions

The new J. Cole album Kids on Drugs hit the Internets last night, just in time for me to not listen to it.
I wouldn’t have been able to listen to it anyway, because I’m a man of a certain age, and I need to sleep at night, lest I (unintentionally) say something inappropriate the following day. Biggie Smalls could come back from the dead, and I’d still have to wait until Friday afternoon, when I could listen to it in the right state of mind, i.e. drunk off my ass.
And J. Cole is no Biggie Smalls. If there’s one thing most reasonable people—and even some unreasonable people (e.g. Noz)—can agree on, it’s that J. Cole’s music has little, if any artistic value. It’s especially popular amongst today’s youth, but so are prescription meds, wearing girls clothes and living at home with your parents until you’re 39 years old.
I listened to maybe half of a J. Cole album once, and I found it to be weirdly toxic, with lots of pontificating about the transactional nature of sex and bragging about having graduated from college, presumably for the benefit of the kind of people who somehow managed to graduate from high school without knowing how to read and write, only to end up owing a shedload of money to the University of Phoenix Online.
This latest J. Cole album is called KOD, which, according to Cole’s own Twitter (nullus), could mean Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed or Kill Our Demons. He’s leaving it open to interpretation, because that’s how creative he is. On the cover is a picture of kids taking drugs. Presumably, he’s against kids taking drugs. Though I’d argue that the best time to take drugs is when you’re young and your body can easily recover.
I notice that the picture seems kinda stereotypical. Front and center, there’s a black kid sipping on some sizzurp, which, if you didn’t know any better, you might think was some “purple stuff,” from that Sunny D commercial. As Dave Chappelle once pointed out, the black kid in that commercial seemed more interested in purple stuff than Sunny D. Black people don’t drink orange juice anyway; we drink orange drink. (According to some guy in my blog’s comments section, they serve “drink” at the Magic Johnson-owned Starbucks.)
To his right is a white girl sniffing a pile of blow, which has come to be associated with white women to the point where it’s sometimes called white girl, or just girl, for short. Taken in moderation, cocaine is actually good for you, which is part of the reason why it’s less illegal than marijuana (in places where marijuana is still illegal). But if you notice, she’s surrounded by black guys, suggesting that she may have done something strange for drug money, or at the very least, that she’s no longer accepted by white men.
This album could be more interesting than you’d think!
I’m sure Cole’s fans will love it regardless. They’re dedicated to their light-skinted overlord to the point where he doesn’t have to bother promoting his albums. All he does is mention, on a random Tuesday afternoon, that he’s got an album coming out that Friday, and the next thing you know, people are lined up to … listen to it for free on the ad-supported version of Spotify and/or YouTube. Cole, I think, is signed to Roc Nation, but they must not be releasing albums as Tidal exclusives anymore, after what happened with the Kanye album.
He probably won’t make much money from it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if people streamed his album enough times this weekend for it to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, thus displacing Cardi B and hopefully kickstarting her inevitable return to obscurity, if not the neighborhood where they shot Hookers at the Point. So at least some good might come of this.
Take it easy on yourself,

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