Recording information: The Box Studios.
Photographers: Lucas Farrar; Mark Bridges.
Thanks to his uploaded breakthrough hit "Dreams," South Central native Cozz was declared a "reality rap" star in the style of Kendrick Lamar, and while that's a decent intro the young artist's sound, it's the "young" bit that could be played up a bit more. "Dreams" is filled with early-twenties, wide-eyed wonder while the broken beat cut "Come Get It" spits "World filled with killin', the kids havin' them babies/Bitch pass the hemp fast, that stuff has me lazy" because the world is broken as well, and that's too much to take when you can't even (legally) drink yet. "Cody Macc" is such a proud pimp number it takes Cozz's birth name as its title, and it doesn't matter much when "I'm the Man" follows it for a redundant swagger suite because the kid is just too hyped to not state it twice. He's young, dumb, and born in a neighborhood full of guns until "Knock Tha Hustle" convincingly growls out the inner city blues with Cozz's mantra of "I've been here way too long" coming off as weathered old bluesman stuff instead of ringtone rapper fluff. This heavy tone continues through the compelling second half of the album, and even if some rhymes and ideas repeat, Cozz has staked his claim with a coming of age debut that's much less crafted than Kendrick's, but more immediate and kinetic. ~ David Jeffries