As Kodak Black finds him on the wrong side of the law yet again, he quietly dropped Painting Pictures on Friday. At 18 tracks, it’s the debut LP from an artist who has been creating album-caliber mixtapes since Project Baby was released in 2013.
You would never know that this kid is 19 years old; he raps with the wisdom and thoughtfulness of an artist at least a decade older. He truly does paint pictures with his lyrics, giving gritty accounts of his life in the streets of Pompano Beach, Florida as well as the current life of luxury and the trappings of fame. Cuts like the intro “Day for Day” and “Corrlinks and Jpay” are vivid depictions of a crime-riddled environment that has claimed the lives of many an individual, especially those who are near and dear to Kodak. He also has the ability to make songs that have big crossover potential into the pop realm. Tunnel Vision already has (currently #6 on the Hot 100) and tracks like “Patty Cake” could easily make their way onto the charts. He is wise beyond his years and can easily navigate many topics over many different styles of production without conforming to the trends of today’s rap landscape. He tells a great story and captivates listeners like myself into wanting more narratives from the self-proclaimed Finesse Kid.
Typically comparisons are something I shy away from but I can’t help but view Kodak as a young Lil Wayne (the irony is not lost on me given his recent shot directed at the Best Rapper Alive). The uniqueness of his voice combined with a knack for clever wordplay are reminiscent of Weezy in the early 2000s. Only time will tell if he will have his Carter III moment but with a debut as solid as this, it doesn’t seem that farfetched.