On Oct. 1, South Central native Cozz made another step towards his “dreams of being rich,” after hosting a listening party at the Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA. The young rapper that is signed to J.Cole‘s label Dreamville, was also celebrating his 21st birthday. In addition to his family and friends, label executives were also in the building to support the 12-tracked anticipated EP Cozz & Effect. Like any listening session, the night started with casual conversations, drinks and a crowd anxious to hear the project.

The dim room was packed with over 60 people for the first of two listening sessions for the night. Though the setting was small and intimate with a laid back LA vibe, the energy in the room became powerful as soon as the play button was hit. The first track heard was Cozz’s hit song “Dreams.” Not a bad choice considering the fact that the song was the reason he grabbed the attention of several labels and later became a Dreamville artist.

Cozz shows that he can prevail lyrically with lighthearted songs like “I’m Tha Man” and “Don’t Know Bout You (DKBU),” then switch it up with deep-rooted tracks like “Knock Tha Hustle” and “Western Ave. Slaves.” He explained the meaning behind “Western Ave. Slaves,” after saying that he grew up on a street called Western Ave. “At night there’s a lot of prostitutes and they’re slaves in a sense,” said Cozz. The album was gritty, poetic and portrayed characteristics of The Chronic. As the records played, it was evident he mastered a new age West Coast sound with old school West Coast influence.

He announced that the next music video he would be shooting is for his single "Cody Macc," which is a sequel to "Dreams." His debut EP will feature as, as well as his label boss J. Cole on the remix to Cozz’s "Knock Tha Hustle." Before playing the song, the 21-year-old rapper talked about Cole’s verse. “Cole went in on this song,” he laughed. “He almost ended my career.” The night wasn’t just filled with laughs though. After the last song ended, the mood quickly transformed to an emotional moment when the rapper’s mother had the crowd teary eyed over her words of encouragement.

“A lot of people don’t follow their dreams. It’s not the direction I wanted to go in but believe me when I say I am extremely proud of you,” Cozz's mother said. “You’re not just a rapper, you’re a poet.”

The album is authentic and diversified. He shows off his ability to change up his flow and sound. If the way the crowd responded at the event is any indication to how the album will be received by the public, then this just might be a small glimpse of big things to come in the future for the young artist.

The EP will be released through Dreamville/Interscope Records via iTunes this Friday, Oct. 3. and in stores Oct. 27.—Ke'Andrea Ayers