Cozz emerged onto the scene in 2014, when his single “Dreams” caught the attention of rapper/record producer J. Cole, who signed him to his label, Dreamville Records. He went on to see moderate success with his debut album, Cozz & Effect, which went on to peak at No. 17 on the Billboard Rap charts.
Now, the 24-year-old rapper from South Central, Los Angeles, returns with his sophomore album, Effected, his first full-length studio release in four years.
The album was announced back in January, with the release of the lead single, “Questions,” a raw West Coast rap melody from producer Soul Professa. It talks all about fake people, who are willing to stand by your side unless it involves their life, freedom, or their money. In the music video, Cozz plays a little role reversal, rounding up police and bringing them in for questioning.
“Hustla’s Story” features a special guest appearance by Kendrick Lamar, who joins in on this multi-faceted track from producers Hollywood JB, Louie Ji, and Meez. The duo’s first collaboration focuses heavily on family values versus a life spent alone on the streets.
The album continues with “Ignorant Confidence” a conscious rap featuring bar after bar of pure ruthlessness, which he follows with “Demons N Distractions,” a pleasantly introspective track with a melodic hook.
Don’t let its jazz-infused melody and smooth downtempo rhythm throw you, “Freaky 45” is hardly about playing vinyl at 45rpm. Nor is it about a .45 caliber bullet. Nope, it’s a song about a young man who loves older women. That’s right… a song for all the cougars and their boy-toys.
Currensy joins Cozz on the album’s second single, “Badu,” a Pete Rock-type beat featuring a somewhat recognizable sample of “Soft Shell” by the 1960’s Canadian pop/soul group Motherlode. The track focuses heavily on religion and faith, a topic which acclaimed neo-soul/R&B singer-songwriter Erykah Badu was heavily criticized for because of her belief in the Nation of Gods and Earths.
The latest single, “Bout It” features Garren, who jumps in with a verse on this melodic trap-infused track about people who are willing to do whatever it takes to cling to success. Some other mentionable tracks include the West Coast banger, “VanNess,” the G-Funk style sample on the title track, “Effected,” and the chopped up jazz beats on the track, “That’s the Thing.”
J. Cole also links up for his first collaboration with Cozz since their “Knock Tha Hustle” remix. The song, “Zendaya,” is named after the Californian actress/singer of the same name, and talks about making the right choices in life. During his verse, Cole shifts gears and begins to take a brutally honest look at Xanax and the prescription drug epidemic.
The album closes with “Not a Minute More,” a crazy vocal beat which blends the intensity, melody, and melancholy of the entire album into one grand finale.
Overall, the album is far superior to his debut. With a powerful lineup of featured artists and producers behind him, Cozz certainly scores another hit for the Dreamville label.