J. Cole's new surprise album, KOD is only hours old but it was immediately easy to deduce that the North Carolina rapper has had a lot on his mind– namely hip-hop culture, its influence on broader culture, and how that pertains to the everyday lives black folks living in a country that continues to be oppressive.
The option for a lot folks to deal with the pain is prescription pills. A temporary salve Cole finds understandable but dangerous, as he reveals on several tracks throughout the album. He also talks about the drugging effects money and fame. One such track is "ATM," for which he just dropped a trippy, yet relevant video.
The clip starts f with some zoned out children sitting on life-sized prescription pill bottles, as J. Cole leads them in a gold-plated sleigh, taunting them with a dollar bill so they'll continue to chase him.
The clips are dizzying but poignant. At one point Cole sits in a money-filled room in a straight jacket, at one point it appears that he's living inside his money bag.
"Don't wanna fall f so I'm all in my bag/Thankin' God like it's biblical/I know it's gon' solve every problem I have/I balled on the principal," he raps.
He further questions, "Will I fall? Will I fly?/Heal my soul/Fulfill my high/Cross my heart (Count, count, count, count it)."
Take a look at the video above. Buy the album on iTunes here.