J. Cole will release his fifth studio album, KOD, this Friday, April 20.
On Monday evening, Cole held an impromptu listening session in New York at the Gramercy Theatre, during which he previewed the album.
Per our own Ryan Payan, who was in attendance at the event, here are five things we learned about KOD:
- The album—surprise, surprise—doesn't contain any guests features.
- In total, the album is 12 tracks, but the final track, "1985," is the introduction to another project. Cole wouldn't provide the audience with any additional details.
- KOD stands for Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed and Kill our Demons.
- According to Payan, the album features a lot of vocal experimentation over menacing production and plenty of 808s, but not much in the way of boom bap.
- Cole initially recorded the album in two weeks but went back to the drawing board to perfect the final three tracks. He says he knew he could "create a classic."
"Cole says he sinks into a zone and is writing at least a song a day. By song six, he realizes there's something going on. He has never written like this before. 'God was just giving it to me, like, "Here n*gga, I'll write it for you, just take the credit,"' he said. After the first two weeks [of recording], Cole thought to himself, 'Yoooo I'ma come back from [touring in] Australia, drop this shit and blow everybody away.' When Cole gets back, he mixes it but something doesn't feel right. He said if he was being honest with himself, he knew three songs weren't up to par. If he could make three more songs up to par, he would have 'a classic.' So Cole says he took his time and perfected the album. It's a beautiful album."
J. Cole's last album was 2016's Platinum-certified 4 Your Eyez Only.