J. Cole’s Newest Signee Cozz Drops ‘Knock the Hustle’
While artists often have to build their own buzz before climbing the ladder in this current Internet-steered system, Cozz's come-up has been one of the smoothest of recent memory. The 20-year-old South Central, Calif., native dropped his very first video, 'Dreams,' in March, and was unveiled as the latest addition to J. Cole's Dreamville roster just three months later.
That's not to say that the kid doesn't have the talent to back it up; 'Dreams' was a scorching effort which, through pure lyricism rather than a fleeting fad, perked the ears of tastemakers and industry bigwigs alike. On his newly-released song, 'Knock the Hustle,' it becomes even more clear that Cozz is intent on paving his way in the game through good old fashioned rhyming.
With its jazzy boom bap beat, the Que-produced loosie is more '90s New York than 2014 West Coast, not least because of the Jay Z-referencing title. However, Cozz juxtaposes the mellow vibe by firing off more of those ferocious bars of his, which are drenched in hunger, frustration and unshakable hope.
"I been broke, man, for way too long / No hot water for way too long / You can't knock the hustle, it's way too strong / Way too strong," he spits on the hook. Even more impressive than his ability to illustrate the pain of the 'hood is his beyond-his-age wisdom, which shines through with lines like, "F--- being fine, girl, you got to have a brain, too."
It's immediately apparent Cozz has all the raw ingredients to become a rappers' rapper. Now let's see if J. Cole and co. can help the kid reach his full potential. His full-length debut, 'Cozz & Effect,' is due out later this year.