Dreamville Records and J. Cole have put together quite the golden roster of great rising Hip-Hop and R&B talent over the past few years and one of the more impressive talents of the whole group is Los Angeles native, Cozz. Who also happens to be the youngest as well.
Age doesn’t affect how lyrically great and confident of an emcee and storyteller the L.A. native is either. With him coming furiously out the gate to show how much he is tired of being overlooked and not fully appreciated on the very piano-laden opening track, Questions, from his official debut album, Effected. Rapping with a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Everest, he questions all his naysayers and boosts how much he is really needed right now in Hip-Hop, while giving a great analysis of the current state of Hip-Hop. The track really lays the groundwork for the broad range of topics that Cozz touches on throughout the album and how ambitious he’s to show what a truly great emcee, as well as storyteller he is. Something he still hasn’t got yet, even despite his Cole co-sign and his great ability to turn his struggles and hardships that have affected him in so many ways to truly create well-crafted raps. Which is why it’s quite fitting the title of the album is, Effected.
A truly great storyteller, Cozz shows on the very next track. The Kendrick Lamar featured, Hustla’s Story, why he is so great at telling not only his own stories, but others as well. As he very vividly details a true hustlers mindset and one of his own dad. Rapping, “Local block hustler, my father was a customer. Mom’s used to watch him buy his weed, then she would cuss at him. Only for the weed, he felt free from that subtle bust. Moved back and it primetime and now, I’m on my prime time.” A skit towards the end is one of many scattered throughout the album that are really good and add content to the songs. The perfect segue to many and improving cohesion of the album as well. The transition from Hustla’s Story to Ignorant Confidence really showing this. As the L.A. native goes straight off on the track. As he raps about how his old struggling ways gave way to the new ignorant confidence he has. While the Meez and Cardiak co-produced, Demons N Distractions, has him opening up about how his lack of actual love with a woman has made him turn into a life of demons that has him use sex and drugs as a coping mechanism of his new-found fame. Meez actually producing a majority of the tracks too. His struggles with love continuing on the very catchy Elite-produced, Freaky 45. As he shows his discontent for younger women.
As the album transitions to the second half, Cozz once again links up with producer, Meez, who provides him with a straight banger, in, Bout It. A very cautionary tale about everybody doing the most to cling onto their success. While the title track is a very great anecdote about a stolen Pokémon card with people he thought were close friends, but weren’t. Thus why his trust issues have affectively brought out an inability to love and connect with some in a relationship. Whether it be in an actual relationship with a woman or a friendly friend relationship with friends. Cozz’s very numb inability to love and connect with a woman in a relationship due to his near-obsession with success and trust issues is also highlighted on the albums catchy and emotionally deep, My Love. Which is easily one of the best records on the whole album too.
The next and last three tracks of the album, That’s the Thing, the Cole-produced and featured, Zendaya and Not a Minute More, along with the title track and My Love, maybe arguably the best five track sequence I’ve ever heard to close out an album or at least towards the top. Especially with how great each track progresses, both lyrically and overall with each one till the end.
Overall this is a very solid album where you can really see the growth and maturation, both lyrically and with confidence from Young Cody Macc. Delivering by far his best work to date, this is a very good step in the right direction that can finally get him the credit and appreciation, he and so many others feel he truly deserves.