Since signing to J. Cole's Dreamville/Interscope label this past June, West Coast rapper Cozz has dropped a handful of records that showcase his skills on the mic, as well as a distinct maturity beyond his 21 years. In essence, he proved he had the intangibles to be considered a threat, even if listeners weren't fully aware of his presence. These skills come out in full force on his debut album, Cozz & Effect.
Lyrically, Cozz carries himself like a tried-and-true individual, weaving his personal narrative through the gritty streets of South Central. There's moments of malice, like "Murda," where Cozz is living only for himself and seemingly destroying everything in his path. "I claim to be a Christian/I ain't prayed in a minute/Been shootin' and stabbin'/Going against all the 10 commandments." Other times he takes a step back and refocuses, viewing the world that has been created by his environment, for better or worse. Cause and effect, indeed. What's most evident throughout the album is that Cozz has the confidence necessary to survive in the rap game, and this is just the beginning.
Cozz & Effect features a minimal guest list, with labelmate Bas included on "I Need That." Some listeners may initially skip to the last track on the album, and with good reason. Cozz is joined by J. Cole on the remix of "Knock Tha Hustle," and Jermaine goes full throttle for two verses, rapping about the struggles he still faces in life despite fortune and fame. "I take a trip back to the 'Ville, only corpses remain/Some of them niggas still breathing but they dead inside/Victims of a genocide, tears fill my eyes." Shit is so real.