Kodak Black gives a long overdue album to his fans amidst trials and tribulations

Written by taylor
/ 3 mins read

Hailing from South Florida, Kodak Black has struggled to juggle a huge career with continuous legal trouble. Google some of the charges and you will see that they are not to be taken lightly. It was in this climate that the delayed album Dying to Live finally saw the light of day in December of 2018. Honest testimony flows from these mostly satisfying tracks, proving once again why the rapper is hard to forget – and after the murder of fellow artists XXXtentacion, he arguably has cemented his roll as the regions most iconic talent.

Kodak Black reps a type of region based swag that is hard to imitate.

Kodak Black’s high pitched, croaking drawl is just so unique, demanding that listeners focus on deliveries where they can and follow up with the lyrics when meaning becomes lost in translation. It doesn’t help when verses are masked in layers of wobbly auto-tune – and while haters might find the mish-mashed result un-listenable, critics with patience should look to the topical DIY aesthetic of the streets at work. This is the soundtrack for Zoes everywhere, an American Haitian group with its own vernacular that speaks volumes.

Even the big singles sound like demos, but this might not be a bad thing.

Slain rapper XXXtentacion is honored on “Malcolm X.X.X.” with a strange yet interesting brew of consciousness and hood philosophy. Kodak Black raps over hastily dropped audio clips of civil rights leader Malcolm X, and this, together with the unfinished sound of the beat, leaves one with the impression that the tack is not only rushed, but appropriately in the moment. Theirs is a world of hear today, gone tomorrow. Make the track, post it, and keep pushing. A similar vibe even exists on the slightly more developed national reggae fusion jam “ZEZE”. Just look how the video literally breaks down.

Dying to Live encapsulates mumble rappers at crossroads of style

A track such as “If I’m Lyin, I’m Flyin” boasts “I don’t make it in the booth, then I’ma make it in the kitchen / I’m special with the mic, special with the whippin’”. The albums detailing of one’s personal relationship with God or the newfound desire to succeed at Life are interrupted with the ratchedness of “Gnarly”, a feature with fellow Floridian Lil Pump, about the preferred thrill of mixing molly with Cialis. When sexual advice from very young men revolves around intensifying natural highs, it would not be surprising if young listeners sought out the same combinations of euphoria. Dying to Live often mixes the need to both over and under achieve, and so it takes sharp minds to rock with the more beneficial messages.

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9. Album Info


Dying to Live is the second studio album by American rapper Kodak Black. It was released on December 14, 2018, via Atlantic Records. It follows his Heart Break Kodak mixtape, released earlier in 2018, as well as his previous mixtape, Project Baby 2: All Grown Up, the deluxe edition of his mixtape Project Baby 2, released in 2017. Dying to Live features guest appearances from Lil Pump, Juice Wrld, Travis Scott and Offset.
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