TEST SPIN | Dreamville & J. Cole — ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’

Historic rap albums are few and far between. With 10 days of sweat, tears and love poured into the 18 song Revenge of the Dreamers III, it’s a ride that’s guaranteed to enthrall. Many of the songs are the empowering projections of Dreamville’s house roster, led by J. Cole. Dreamville artists assembled in the studio alongside a handful of the respectable rapper addendums like Young Nudy, DaBaby, Vince Staples and Smokepurpp. A dated pop instrumental fades directly into J. Cole’s opener for “Under the Sun.” Bouncy percussion and high notes simultaneously orchestrate the lively, upbeat atmosphere for a strong start to the album.


“KOD. 3 meanings. Kids on Drugs
King Overdosed
Kill Our Demons
The rest of the album I leave to your interpretation.”

J. Cole tweeted this on April 19 prior to releasing his new album, KOD. The rapper’s fifth LP features 12 songs, all of which fuse to tell a succinct story about what I believe is the culmination of addiction and pain through technology in 2018. What is most interesting about KOD is that it is an exploration of many types of relevant pain in 2018.

TEST SPIN: J. Cole — 4 Your Eyez Only

In all honesty, I feel let down by Eyez. As a J Cole fan since 2009’s The Warm Up, I cannot say that Eyez stacks up to his previous efforts. Eyez has a lot going for it. The instrumentation is lush; from the strings to the trumpets one cannot fault the production quality. From the bold trap hit “Immortal” to the minimalist masterpiece on the title track to the gentle vocal-driven melodies seen on She Mine Pt.1 & 2, Eyez is both an instrumental and melodic success.