Over the last couple of months, the rapper Cozz‘s name has floated around the rap scene. He dropped his debut album Cozz & Effect on October 3, 2014 and since then, his career has slowly been on the come up. Now, when this album originally came out I was not aware of it. I had heard his name every now and then, but it was not until recently when a good friend recommended the LP to me that I decided to actually sit down and figure out what makes this guy so interesting.
I did a little research on him to find out why he has garnered some hype over these couple of months and it didn’t take me too long to figure out why. Turns out Cozz is signed under Dreamville records, which is run by none other than J Cole. I was more than interested to hear what he had to say due to the fact that he was backed by a great rapper. Unfortunately, my dreams were not met.
The album starts out with the track “Dreams,” a fairly basic one with essentially nothing new or insightful to bring to the table. The flow was decent, but to be blunt, generic, and the hook was pretty weak. Now given the fact that this is a debut album, I usually have no problem letting a track such as this one slide as long as the artist can show a sense of style, personality, or versatility in regards to their flow. I continued onto the next track “Come Get It” and thought no more of it. However once that finished, my opinion was exactly the same as the opening track. Basic flow, basic concepts, basic beats. I began to notice a pattern. Everything on this LP is simply average.
As I continued through the album, nothing really stood out. His delivery on this LP was one that was predictable and repetitive. His lyrics were pretty simple and the topics which he discussed were told in a very vague manner. The production on this album was also very simple and generic as well, because it seemed as if all of the beats were just filled with some simple kicks, hi hats and snares. Out of all the simplicity, I’d have to say the track with the best beat was “Knock tha Hustle,” but the rapping was so generic that I lost interest thus categorizing it as another basic track. What makes it worse is that the “Knock tha Hustle Remix,” which is the last track of this album, features J Cole himself and his one verse was the best verse on this whole project. J Cole single-handedly outdid the whole album through one verse. Sad, isn’t it?
That wasn’t really what made this album not stand out. What really was bad were that the hooks throughout this whole album were nothing but cringe-worthy. From the opening track, to Cozz telling us that he’s the man, and to ask around all the way up until the closing track, the hooks were consistently bad while the features on this LP didn’t save it from inevitable simplicity either. In the end, not only was I totally apathetic towards this debut, I felt bad that he was on the come up as a rapper and is currently on a pedestal that he clearly should be kicked off of. Due to him being signed under Dreamville Records, his growing fan base is putting him on a pedestal that he is not, and may never be, ready to be on.
The point that I am trying to get across is not that Cozz is a bad rapper, it is just that he seems to not bring any sort of sound or flow to my ears that I haven’t heard before from some other rapper. Anyone can make it in the rap game, but to be great or to be recognized as someone who can potentially lead this generation of rap to even being the best, you must be able to be versatile in your lyrics, your production, and your persona. If not, you’re just another rapper following the crowd. Lucky for Cozz, I won’t be so quick to think that any future albums he has will be of the same essence. I hope to see major improvement on his follow-up to this album. Hopefully Cozz realizes that anyone can be a rapper, but you need more to remembered. For now this album doesn’t stand out, and that it will be nothing but forever average.