Nothin’ Personal, But Cozz Is The Best Rapper on Dreamville

Before Dreamville, Cozz was just a promising up and coming L.A. rapper. He had just one video to his name, but it was more than enough to ensure that in the right hands he’d be a problem. “Dreams” is the foundation that Cozz’s career is built upon. It’s the support beam. If you needed to explain Cozz to someone, “Dreams” is what you give them. “Dreams” isn’t Cozz’s best record, though. There’s material on Cozz & Effect, as well as his sophomore project, Nothin’ Personal, that trumps it.

Signing to another rapper is always a risky decision. You’re either going to be the Drake to their Lil Wayne, the Curren$y to their Lil Wayne, or the Gudda Gudda to their Lil Wayne. You’re going to get instant exposure. I’d imagine for Cozz, it was a simpler decision than most artists in the industry. J. Cole has die-hard fans who been screaming Dreamville for years. Putting some dope talent to the roster is all the reason to continue to yell at from the top of rooftops and claim it like a gang affiliation.

Allow me to give you a reason to click out of this article before I go any further. Are you ready? Are you prepared? Ahem… Cozz is the best rapper on Dreamville Records. You’re still here? Did I forget to add “including J. Cole”? Yup, there it is. I can see you clicking the tiny x in the browser. Bye.

If you’ve managed to make this far, realize that this is my opinion. J. Cole is an extraordinary talent, but I’ve never stanned for him like many do. He doesn’t make bad music by any means. I just feel like I connect with Cozz in a way that I don’t with J. Cole. Nothin’ Personal confirmed that.

Cozz is an interesting artist. Not only does he share plenty of his story and memories through his music, he does so in an engaging way. Producer Meez takes takes ahold of the entire free album, sometimes co-producing but having a hand in every song regardless. The production is often a reminiscent of gloomy days, and Cozz’s lyrics back that up.

“We want the culture, so we taking over.”

What’s Nothin’ Personal consist of? Why is this project more memorable than Cozz & Effect? Most importantly, how does it solidify him as the best in Dreamville?

There’s shades of confidence, boastful nature, storytelling, and experimentation. Nothin’ Personal isn’t an album that’s going to usher in a new sound. Often times, Cozz’s subject matters rival what’s typical of this generation: the pursuit of money, getting bitches, and making progress in his career.

Again, his strong suits lie within the way he articulates his lyrics over the Meez production. “I grew like five years over the summer/ no wonder why I’m so smart,” Cozz raps on “Grow.” It’s a line that the more you spend time with it, the more you appreciate it. He’s maturing at a faster rate because of everything going on in his life. He’s dedicated to his grind, evident through a line found on “Who Said” that reads, “I ain’t get pussy for like three seasons/ so if you think the grind is seasoned, keep dreaming.”

While the project is pretty consistent throughout, the experimentation I mentioned jumps out at random moments. Starting off with the classic Kanye West drunk vine, Cozz gets his sing-rap style on with “Grey Goose.” It works in the same way that The Game’s “Start From Scratch” worked because he sounds believably drunk. You know how people sing when they’re drunk? That’s Cozz. He adopts that style on other songs like “Tell Me” and the disappointing “GWBW” but merely in the hooks.

If there was a way to sum up Cozz’s intentions on Nothin’ Personal, I think he’d tell everybody to stop sleeping on him. He addresses it a few times throughout on songs, including the intro track titled “Wake Up Call.” Cozz doesn’t care that this is his second project, he’s 20 years-old, that J. Cole signed him, he’s hungry and eager. You can tell he’s thankful of the progress he’s made in the last year, but he’s far from satisfied. Cozz wants everyone in the world to hear him. Nothin’ personal, it’s just business.

My video review of ‘Nothin’ Personal.’

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