Ones To Watch For 2016: Cozz




“Name a nigga better than me, you ain’t got one/ I ain’t got to tell you that I’m sick, I let the snot run/I was poppin on Twitter before a nigga even got one.”

At the age of 21, after a demo tape and couple of music videos between 2013-14, by the end of the year Cozz was signed to Dreamville/Interscope Records, (the label founded by J.Cole), and it’s easy to see why. You can feel Cozz’s hunger when listening to his music. When American’s think of LA rappers, they think of YG, Kendrick, Earl Sweatshirt and even Vince Staples, but what sets Cozz apart are his bars. He is a rappers rapper in the sense that he just doesn’t run out of bars (word to Chip). He is hungry, brash, passionate, and this is only the beginning for him.

Where most rappers have their early, experimental work scattered around Soundcloud, or on basic Youtube videos, Cozz’s only two projects to date are the gem that is his slept on debut album Cozz & Effect, and the recently dropped Nothin’ Personal mixtape. While the first project was released in 2014, to rave reviews and plenty of promise, 2015 was a relatively quiet year for the rapper who was too busy touring with J.Cole and other artists like Jhene Aiko, Pusha T, Big Sean, Jeremih, YG and his Dreamville label mates on the “2014 Forest Hills Drive Tour”.

On the mixtape, Cozz comes through with the same hunger and ruthlessness on the microphone as ever, however he does try new things such as on songs like “Grey Goose” and “Choice Today” where he tries singing. It makes sense to try things like that on a mixtape rather than an album and some people may like it, but for me, it didn’t work. They’re also stark contrasts to the things that make me like Cozz as an artist.

The rapper/producer chemistry is evident throughout the mixtape with Meez being Cozz’s go to producer. He was the one who produced Cozz’s notable track “Dreams,” which is what landed him the Dreamville deal in the first place. So the duo are the Drake to the others Noah 40. Standout tracks on the mixtape for me are “Grow” and “City of God (ft Boogie)” where he’s at his storytelling best, while “Tabs ft Bas” is the closest thing to a commercial song.

If you’re a fan of raw lyrical ability then Cozz is someone you should be listening to. He is a rapper’s rapper, and a hip-hop purist and wordsmith, who is only at the start of his journey. It’s hard to believe that he’s only 22, but if he continues to show growth and range as an artist he may just have a long career ahead of him.

Check out my review of Dreamville artist Bas’s debut album “Last Winter” here:

You can find links to other blog posts of mine here:

And you can follow me on Twitter at: @__AB96


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