Kodak Black is back. And by back, I mean chubby and out of prison…again. Today we will travel back to 2017 to when Kodak dropped his first and only studio record Painted Pictures. Most of the stuff he has released between prison sentences have been mixtapes, all of which have a certain vibe and tone that at times feels unfinished. Painting Pictures, on the other hand, remains as some of my favorite work from the young rapper out of Florida. Let’s look closer at it.
We all know the trend that has swept the rap game over the past few years. Mumble mumble mumble…love it or hate it, its the style of rapping Kodak chooses to use. This is the first album that I had to read through the Genius lyrics a few times for each song. Kodak is no Young Thug but he also isn’t Lil Pump. Some lyrics actually are artistic while others are just boring and lame, and while this takes away a lot from the vocal aspect of the album, Kodak makes it up by bringing in some solid talent in the features department. Having Future and Jeezy on a record always helps, A Boogie and Bun B both do great jobs with their respective verses, and Young Thug makes “Top Off Benz” his song. His feature isn’t his best ever but you still start to forget its not his song.
Kodak has a certain style he goes for and he never seems to let his producers mix things up. Most rappers have a certain sound, however, will make the sound of each album be different in certain ways. A perfect example would be the distinct differences in the tone and vibe of J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only and his recent record KOD. Looking back through Kodak’s catalog of mixtapes and singles, he never really plays with his sound. Throughout the album, the production team uses very similar loops of hi-hats, 808s, chimes, and synths. The beats are never bad, to be honest, quite the opposite. They make this album feel like a well-produced album. That beat on “Tunnel Vision” is just so hard to resist not doing the Kodak dance move. With that said, the beats is what holds this entire project together.
Three words to describe the production of Painting Pictures. Dysfunctional, fluff, and singles. Let me explain. Listening through the tracks I started to notice how strange it was laid out. The transitions are smooth but something just seems lost. It feels like Kodak didn’t truly know where he wanted to take the project. He has love songs, gang-related stuff, jail stories, and other themes throughout. It just feels like a mixed bag of music that Kodak felt worked together but in the end, feels much more like a mixtape than a studio album. The singles, “There He Go”, “Tunnel Vision”, and “Patty Cake” are peak Kodak but surrounding it are songs that feel like they are just…there. They are fluff and nothing special.
The singles (see above) plus “Why They Call You Kodak” and “Conscience”
This album has some of the best we have seen from Kodak Black. Sure he is a mumble rapper and that turns a lot of people away, however, everyone still enjoys “Tunnel Vision” and “Patty Cake”. Is he the best rapper? Hell no, not even the best mumble rapper out there. While this may have some of the best work Kodak has done, as an actual album, it just kind of sucks. Painting Pictures gets a:
Pretty sure this is the lowest score I have given and I don’t regret it at all. Doesn’t mean I am not going to blast “Patty Cake” when I hear it come on.