Cozz (Cody Osagie) has a lot to say on this 14 track album, let’s get right to it.
Opening track, Questions is a two-and-a-half minute display of the LA rapper’s bar-heavy, aggressive delivery, over a soothing piano assisted instrumental. As every rap album should, he goes about making it clear that he is better than all his peers. He then claims that “rap needs a saviour, and I think that I can save it, but look, ain’t no one heard of me... but I’m gon’ be what I deserve to be”. He doesn’t really provide a clear concept to the album, however he does well in telling the listener what he is all about - solid intro.
The next track Hustla’s Story was released as a single and features a cameo from Kendrick Lamar (no verse, just a hook). This shouldn’t overshadow Cozz’s performance on the track. He vividly explains the struggles of the different hustler’s in LA and how everything “in the end was all for the bread”. One line in particular that stuck with me was about how a father’s priorities may be mixed up, “not sure how to raise a daughter, but they know how to raise the price”.
A title that’s sure to stand out on the tracklist is Ignorant Confidence. Boastful, braggadocious and assertive at its core. Cozz flexes his penmanship and lyricism on a uptempo, dark beat. To me, it sounds like he’s most in his element on these kind of tracks. Songs like Proof and VanNess are further evidence of this.
Track #4 of the album, Demons N Distractions. The title of the song is really straightforward in terms of the content he’s rapping about - his demons and his distractions. This track does however, jump on this recent trend of beat switches in the middle of the song, which in this case, worked really nicely. On the second part of this song (Distractions) Cozz shows he can also come up with a catchy hook, followed by a dope verse, that I’m sure will be a fan favorite when it comes to performing it live.
Couple tracks down we get a slow, yet jazzy instrumental on Badu. A beat that sounds like it came straight out of a Curren$y mixtape, ironically features the New Orleans rapper who feels right at home rapping over this beat.
Listen to his interview on Big Boy TV where he goes over some of the tracks and inspiration behind them;
On the title track Effected, the West Coast flag is raised high and proud. The beat has an iconic ‘California sound’ and the song is reminiscent of Tupac’s “This Life I Lead” (relax, I’m not comparing him to Tupac). Like Tupac (again, relax), Cozz is becoming increasingly more precocious and paranoid on who he hangs out with, as the hook clearly captures “One minute you got a friend till the end then they try to steal yo motherf****n' ends (man, this life we in)”.
A late highlight of the album Zendaya features the man who signed Cozz, head of Dreamville Records, J. Cole. Not only does he have a verse on this track, he also provides the production for it. Cole raps about how he used to look up to Jay-Z and Kanye West, and like every Cole verse as of recent, he finds a way to touch on societal issues while spitting some game to Cozz, in similar fashion to how Jay did on Mr. Nice Watch to Cole. Cozz then follows the theme saying “Back in school, I was bumpin' Cole daily, Now I'm writin' rhymes in the notebook that Cole gave me”. On this track, the 24 year-old also exposes some of his vulnerabilities and anxieties being an up and coming rapper, and what it really means to be happy.
Along with fellow label mates J.I.D, EarthGang and Bas, Dreamville are beginning to build a serious roster in the rap game. With this album, Cozz is another great addition to the team.
Overall, I think this is a really solid album. Cozz can RAP, and he consistently displays his skill throughout this project. What I like about this album so much, is that he seems so hungry to prove himself. The conviction and aggressiveness in his delivery truly shines and is reflected in his lyrics. As a complete body of work, I do think Effected has more than a couple skippable tracks (as most projects do). Nonetheless, I really enjoyed listening to this album and will be looking out for new releases to come.
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