Kodak Black finally blessed the world with his debut album, Painting Pictures, during the early morning of March 31st. It was most likely on hold because of his trouble with the last in the past year. Project Baby dropped 16 new songs with the 2 singles ‘There He Go’ and ‘Tunnel Vision.’ I personally wasn’t a fan of Kodak before his mixtape Lil B.I.G. Pac but I hadn’t given him a unbiased listen. By the end of the third song “Can I,” I could hear what everyone else heard. His natural Southern flow and legitimate street experience is what pushed him in front of everyone’s eyes at a young age.

Painting Pictures album cover

That Southern style is prevalent on the third track of  debut, “Candy Paint” featuring Bun B and produced by Go Grizzly. Kodak and Bun share their thoughts of the epidemic of people copying each other. The chorus, rapped by Kodak, reads, ” Everybody wanna ride candy/ Everybody wanna ride candy/ Everybody wanna ride candy paint/ Everybody just comparing/ Everybody tryna sell drugs/ Everybody think they the plug/ Everybody wanna ride Forgis now/ Ain’t nobody tryna ride dubs.” You can see that these lyrics apply to more than just rappers but as Kodak says “everybody.” Bun B has a message for supposed wannabe rappers. In his verse he says, “Everybody wanna be a rapper/ Shinin’ like a boss on stage/ But, it’s gonna take mo’ than some YouTube likes/ And a gaddamn IG page/ Everybody wanna be who they can’t/ Instead of tryna be who they are/ Man, this shit won’t get you to far/ You’ll never be a star regardless of the paint on your car.” This is an obvious shot towards the “SoundCloud rappers” that most people listen to but at the same time hate. Granted some are better than other but a lot of just how Bun describes. We’ve recently seen some come to fruition but when I’m scrolling my SoundCloud feed I come across many who have stolen the sounds of Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Famous Dex and others. For those Bun is right, you’ll never become a star that way.

Other features come from Future, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Young Thug, and Jeezy. Painting Pictures features a myriad of topics including his jail time, success, past street life, and staying focused for the future. On “Day for Day” Kodak discusses his street life and not only his own jail time but a few of his friends as well. When Kodak went to jail in 2016 it seemed to him that everyone he had previously helped had disappeared. “And I don’t know why, these niggas be hatin’ on a G/ When I’m the same lil’ nigga, who gave you niggas a chance to eat/ I had to do that time, could nobody do that shit for me/ When I was doin’ that time, ain’t nobody do that shit with me.” Later in the song Kodak claims that since he’s been released he plans on going as hard as he can in his profession. He dedicates the song to friends that are locked up and vows revenge for everyone who’s done him wrong.

Out of the 16 new songs some of my other favorites include: “Top Off Benz” featuring Young Thug, ” Up in Here,” “Corrlinks and JPay” produced by Mike Will Made It, and “Why They Call You Kodak.” “Why They Call You Kodak” is the last new track before he raps up his debut with “There He Go.” For the intro he uses a snippet from his highly viewed Breakfast Club interview where Charlamagne asks him how he got his name and he responds with, “I mean, it’s a lotta ways I could explain it. You know what I’m sayin?” Throughout the song he clearly explains why his name is Kodak. The chorus sets a chilling tone upon its first listen. “Everywhere I go, I got my shooters with me/ I ain’t goin’ in the club, can’t bring my Ruger in it/ Ain’t no cameraman, but I’ll shoot a nigga/ Now why they call me Kodak? ‘Cause I’ll shoot a nigga.” Watching the interview I imagined his answer would be something like this but the tone he uses in the song just lets you know that he’s been there and done that. He just completely snaps. It’s probably directed towards the Breakfast Club crew for laughing during the interview. I could tell he was annoyed cause I certainly was. For the outro he uses the rest of snippet where he gives his full answer which in light has become this song.

Even if Kodak Black isn’t really your type of rapper, just give his debut a chance. You may not like every song but guarantee there will be a song or 2 you can relate to. Painting Pictures receives a solid 8.5/10 because of his realness, the ability to relate to it and the features and production. Check it out on all major streaming services and also take a look at his “Project Baby” documentary below and comment.

About The Author

I’m 20 years old coming from Atlanta and attending the University of Alabama. For the magazine I’m a music writer but in general I’m a writer, producer, and designer. With my writing I want to spread to others the wonders of hip-hop culture. Follow me on Twitter @28Wavy for new music and updates.

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