The final track on KOD is a single lengthy verse that also serves as the intro to Cole's next speculated album; The Fall Off. "1985" represents the year Cole was born and the song itself acts as a reflection of his life and how the new breed of rappers might label him as an "old head."
And plus, you havin' fun and I respect that
But have you ever thought about your impact?
These white kids love that you don't give a f—k
'Cause that's exactly what's expected when your skin black
They wanna see you dab, they wanna see you pop a pill
They wanna see you tatted from your face to your heels
And somewhere deep down, f--k it, I gotta keep it real
They wanna be black and think your song is how it feels
Cole tries to warn the younger generation of tattooed rappers the effect their pill-popping lifestyle might have on their fans without coming across as judgmental.
Although Cole doesn't name any names during the searing outro track, many fans believe some of the bars are directed at Florida rappers Lil Pump and/or Smokepurpp, who have both tweeted negative things about the North Carolina MC in the past.
The song samples Kanye West's 2004 track "We Don't Care."
Speaking in an interview with Vulture, Cole said he was taking aim at what he sees as the cartoon version of hip-hop. "If you exclude the top three rappers in the game, the most popping rappers all are exaggerated versions of black stereotypes," he explained. "Extremely tatted up. Colorful hair. Flamboyant. Brand names. It's caricatures, and still the dominant representation of black people, on the most popular entertainment format for black people, period."
The Dreamsville boss added that though the intended target was more general, those rappers who have responded must have seen truth in his words. "It's really a 'shoe fits' situation - several people can wear that shoe," he explained. "Why you yelling at your show? You must feel attacked in some kind of way, must feel offended, and if you feel offended, then that means something rings true, something struck a chord. That's cool with me. That's all I ever want to do."