With the track list released today for J. Cole’s upcoming album KOD, the Cole World community couldn’t help but notice the single featured artist…kiLL edward. For pretense, J. Cole is known for going platinum without any features on the studio albums, 2014 Forest Hills Drive and 4 Your Eyez Only; so naturally, when the album was announced Sunday, I think we all expected the pattern to follow his previous success and land the Dreamville rapper another trophy, allowing his neighbors to speculate if he’s selling dope again.
But who is this kiLL edward person? Here’s my theory.
First, the random track *uploaded by kiLL edward* to Soundcloud. The less than two-minute #disco track as categorized on the platform, sets the stage for what we are to expect on 4/20 with Cole’s album. Entitled ‘tidal wave (just for reference)’, the artist vocals are most definitely J. Cole. While the vocal pattern is lower, or rather sounds older than he usually sounds recorded, is a key element to the album. I think this song is supposed to represent J. Cole as an older man who is still battling his childhood demon, aka Edward aka drugs.
Could the older man be someone who grew up around the disco era? Why would the R&B song be misclassified other than to provide us with additional hints on the album character?
K.O.D. – Kill Our Demons / King of Demons / Kids on Drugs / King of Darkness
Additionally, the artwork heavily mirrors the Ghost of Christmas Past (Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens) where the spirit presented two children under his cloak. Cole is revealing not only Boon-dock Saints-style cartoon children doing cocaine, drinking purp, smoking a blunt, and taking a pill, but skeletons within him.
So it’s only natural that kiLL edward is going to be that voice in Cole’s head that just won’t leave him alone. In ‘tidal wave (just for reference)’, the artist says,
“can we vibe just a little, that would be a dream come true / ain’t goin’ lie i’ve been feeling you, just a little / I’ve been haunting you since we were little, now we full grown and you here / do you have time just a little? I can make it worth your while”
With the track title, we can assume that this is “demon” is opening the flood gates (causing a tidal wave) back into the drugs this persona was once addicted too. I don’t think that we will see Cole’s personal experiences on this album, but instead that he is going to release a concept album like we’ve seen so heavily lately from Logic and others.
Even if kiLL edward is a real person, I think we can expect KOD to be J. Cole’s approach in taking the lead of bringing this generation away from mumble / drug rap and back into reality. Who will save your soul?