North Carolina’s J. Cole and Dallas’ Post Malone are fighting for hip-hop’s soul with both of their albums breaking records. As human nature would allow it, both artists are going to be compared for which one is better musically.
Similar to the Cardi B and Nicki Minaj “beef,” this competition is mostly fan created because hip-hop fans just love to see its heroes fight each other.
J. Cole’s newest album “KOD” continues his reign of no features as he raps about fighting addiction, rap fame and Lil Pump. While slightly better then his previous project “For Your Eyez Only,” he continues to underwhelm lyrically despite being a veteran in the game.
“It’s only an organ/ thank God mama couldn’t afford the abortion/ the loneliest orphan/
I flip my misfortune and grow me a fortune,” Cole’s lyrics read.
There is no way that this is the same rapper that created “2014 Forest Hills Drive.”
It is not like Post Malone is much better. While his melodies and flow would make nursery rhymes sound good, there is no excusing some of his lyrics.
“I was puttin’ on for you like a jersey/what I didn’t know then couldn’t hurt me/ never thought you were gonna do me dirty/left me in the cold but on the inside I was burning.”
Post Malone made it clear in his NewOnce interview that hip-hop is not for lyrics, therefore J. Cole who is considered a top tier MC by his fans should not be this close to Post Malone in terms of lyrical cringe.
While J.Cole continues to over saturate the market with mainstream conscience rap (Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Chance The Rapper etc.). Post Malone is crossing the bridge of R&B and hip-hop while bringing in new fans.
While “Beerbongs & Bentleys” has some pandering duds like the West Coast influenced “Same B**ch” and the singer/songwriter flop “Stay,” Post has some great songs on here. Songs like “Candy Paint,” “Paranoid,” “Phycho” combine irresistible hooks with a hip-hop edge.
It is as if Malone combined Ty Dolla $ign’s swagger (who is featured on the album), SZA’s emotive singing and Chirs Brown’s sung/rap flow to create songs that resonate with fans and haters of rap music. He is occupying a space in music that few can accomplish and while it partly because of the color of his skin, a lot of these songs are well made.
This is not to say J. Cole does not have redeeming songs on “KOD.” The haunting instrumentals of “Photograph” and “1985- Intro to ‘The Fall Off'” give the tracks replay value and Cole’s flow on the title track is impressive even though he makes fun of rappers that use the same flow.
It is commendable how J.Cole produces, writes and raps all on his own, but the man could have really used some collaborations. Some more interesting beats from other producers and a feature hook and/or verse could have made songs like “Motiv8” much more enjoyable.
It is not at all fair to compare these two artists because their albums are so different. In fact, it is a great thing that both of these albums have been so successful because it shows that hip-hop can still be fun and meaningful. It just may not come from the same artist.
With that said, “Beerbongs and Bentley’s” is better then “KOD” not only for its stellar production, but also its R&B characteristics that not only put it above “Stoney” but most albums that come out in contemporary R&B.
The Flyer gives “KOD” a 5/10 and Beerbongs & Bentley’s” a 7/10.
By DREW LACOUTURE
Featured photo: Post Malone v. J Cole (XXL Magazine image).