Bitter sweet emotions come to mind as I write this review for Kodak Black’s commercial debut album Painting Pictures. The 19-year old rap super star hailing from South Florida has had a string of legal charges which have plagued his whole career. Rather than excelling to the top as arguably one of the best rappers to explode onto the scene in 2016, he repeatedly finds himself in trouble with the law. Charges range from armed robbery and sexual assault, and today the young rapper sits behind bars. It’s a same such a gifted emcee cannot withstand the law and is jeopardizing his career through his actions.
To spite the legal trouble’s Kodak Black faces, his debut album Painting Pictures is magnificent. His vocal flow, harmony and lyrical cadence are reminiscent of classic southern hip-hop. Hearing Kodak Black’s voice on a track is reminiscent to classic southern rappers like Lil Boozie and Juvenile in their prime. This combined with his quick witted rhymes can make the most B-Boy of Backpack rap fans bounce to Kodak’s dirty south sound.
Kodak Black has already made quite the name for himself with popular rappers. Painting Pictures has guest star appearances from Bun B, Future, Young Thug, Jeezy, and fellow new comer A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. There are many tracks off the record I fancy, such as “Coolin and Booted,” “Candy Paint” with Bun B, and “Twenty 8.” I love the playful piano vibes on “Patty Cake.” The hit single “Tunnel Vision” has a smooth beat and Kodak’s dark and mysterious flow makes it a smash. One of my favorite songs off the album would have to be “Up in Here” for it’s turnt up energy.
It may have taken me a while to get into Kodak Black, but now that I’m completely sold, I’m inviting you along for the ride. Some may choose to label him a mumble rapper but myself and many others feel that this is becoming a dismissive term. Kodak combines nice melodies with emotionally raw lyrics to make bangers and what more could you ask for? Although I didn’t care for many of the features from over exposed artists (*cough *cough Future, Thugga, Jeezy) on Painting Pictures, these do not spoil the album in the least way. In fact, they serve as a strong counter balance to Kodak’s solo talent and give the mainstream fans a taste of what they want. I personally would love to see Kodak get on a song with his fellow popular South Flordia emcee Denzel Curry. Perhaps I could even see a collab between Kodak and Xavier Wulf one day. When it’s all said and done I was impressed with Painting Pictures and it makes me want to dig into Kodak’s earlier work. I’m leaving this debut album at 4/5 PALMs!