Los Angeles-based Dreamville Records rapper Cozz has been preparing to drop his debut album, Effected, and has released the hard-hitting single “Questions” to get the hype cycle started. Effected is due for a first-quarter release after the South Central-born Cozz was signed to J. Cole’s label in 2013. He previously released the mixtape Cozz & Effect in 2014, but Effected is being called his official retail debut.
“Questions” fits in perfectly with Dreamville’s sonic aesthetic, with a simple, straightforward, headphones-friendly beat and dense, punchline-heavy bars that find Cozz contemplating why “these n—-s pride is bigger than their work ethic,” among other important topics that need answers. He also interrogates his own low profile within the rap game despite the high-status cosign from Dreamville founder J. Cole — a position Cole himself can likely relate to from his early days on Roc Nation with Jay-Z — and concludes “n—-s be hatin’,” which seems legit, all things considered.
He may not have to wait as long as he thinks to see the fruits of his labor as Dreamville has been increasing in both size and popularity over the last few years. The label has added singer Ari Lennox, Atlantan rapper JID, and North Carolina rapper Lute, recently worked with Colin Kaepernick on his philanthropic endeavors, and spent the better part of 2016 trolling the Donald Trump campaign, all of which has resulted in a boost in attention that will surely benefit longtime members like Cozz, Bas, and Omen.