Kodak Black proves practice makes perfect with “Before The Album.”
Honorable Mention. Black Hole
Kodak Black and his crew rap over a flipped version of a classic Eminem beat in “Black Hole.” Kodak Black and his crew probably know that they have to accomplish quite a bit to be compared to Eminem and D12. With that being said, making “Black Hole” is a great place to start. In “Black Hole,” Kodak, SnapKatt, and Syko Bob hit us with borderline demented bars over a flipped version of Eminem’s classic “Cleaning Out My Closet” beat. While I don’t love the raps that I heard in the song, I applaud each rapper’s bravery in tackling the classic beat.
5. Back To Back
The bromance between Kodak Black and Syko Bob is put on full display in “Back To Back.”
I know that Kodak Black put “Back To Back” right after “We Working” (A track in which he talks about the drama between him and Jackboy) on purpose. In the former, both Kodak and Syko Bob rap about the admiration that they have for one another. While I think the song’s hook is a little cheesy, I absolutely f**k with the beat and Kodak’s swagger on his verses.
4. Too Boosie
Kodak Black pays homage to all of the hood rappers that deserve some kind of award in “Too Boosie.”
One thing that I f**k with a lot is when rappers pay homage to other rappers, especially when young rappers pay homage to OG rappers. In “Too Boosie,” Kodak shouts out a bunch of folks that he feels deserve awards such as Hell Rell, Casanova, BG, Juvenile, Chief Keef, Soulja Slim, and of course, Boosie Badazz. While I love the passion that he shows in his verses, the gangsta-ass hook that he lays down is what really caught my attention.
3. We Working
Kodak Black addresses his beef with Jackboy in “We Working.”
Kodak Black decided to release this project at the same time JackBoy decided to release Jackboy 2. Frfr, what that tells me is that their beef is really bad now. In “We Working,” Kodak raps about some of the things that he believes Jackboy did to him, showing more disappointment in his voice than anything.
The emotional vibes attached to this song make every word that comes out of Kodak’s mouth feel real as hell. I personally don’t know what’s real or not between him and Jackboy, but what I do know is that I want the two to resolve their issues (I like Jackboy as Kodak’s shooter).
The first time I heard Lil Baby rap was on “That’s My Dawg (Remix)” with Kodak Black, MoneyBagg Yo, and Quavo. I’m glad that after all of these years Kodak and Baby are still tight enough to make a song together.
In “Nobody,” Kodak and Baby join forces, hitting us with somewhat heartfelt bars that revolve around shaky encounters, drug use, and smoke. Since the song is powered by an emotional instrumental, you know that the two emotional rappers shine.
1. Aug 25th
Kodak Black treats “Aug 25th” as a letter to his child’s mother.
We all know that Kodak Black can get nasty on the mic. What we also know is that he can get very vulnerable on the mic, too. In “Aug 25th,” Kodak does the latter, as, in the song, he opens up about his relationship with his child’s mother, both praising and questioning her.
Kodak Black shows many different emotions in “Aug 25th.” Throughout the song, he comes across as disheveled, hopeful, annoyed, confused, and hurt. Even though the song features a pretty gentle beat, Kodak tackles s**t grittily rapping-wise.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Versatile 3 (3/5)
2. Alright (3/5)
3. Nobody (3/5)
4. Kodak 2013 (3/5)
5. Too Boosie (4/5)
6. Tik Tok (4/5)
7. Let Me Finish (2/5)
8. Black Hole (3/5)
9. Aug 25th (4/5)
10. We Working (4/5)
11. Back To Back (2/5)
Usually, Kodak Black projects that aren’t studio albums sound mid, to me. This particular project is actually very decent.
No, the audio quality that you get on Before The Album isn’t great, but Kodak definitely spits like a dude with a chip on his shoulder. Throughout it, he fearlessly tackles deep topics such as his baby mama drama, his fallouts, his wars, and his shaky sex encounters. What I love particularly about this project is that Kodak doesn’t step too far outside of the box on it (aka he doesn’t try to sing his ass off); instead, he hits us with bars that are delivered in the rawest of ways. If Kodak decides to spit the way he does on this album moving forward, I think he can go back to being regarded as one of the top rappers in the game today.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.