The Zanders Review: Painting Pictures

Kodak Black has become a cult icon in the state of Florida over the course of the last three years. His infamous Kodak Black Dance, putting his pinkie on his teeth, and his hit singles have carried him to an elite status amongst high-school and college-aged Floridians.

So far, the 19-year old rapper has only released mixtapes, which are basically free versions of an album. This all changed on March 31 when he released his first studio album “Painting Pictures.” The 18-track debut album comes on the heels of his chart-topping single “Tunnel Vision,” in which he invented a new dance craze that swept the south by storm.

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All that being said, Black hasn’t been the best role model. The last few years he has been in and out of jail and caused a lot of controversy. This album chronicles those struggles. One song in particular, “Reminiscing,” details Black’s life behind bars and addresses the perception that he isn’t book smart. The beat is a driving force and it gives the song a more mature feel, something the album needed.

Black followed this same line of thinking with “Save You,” in which he ponders what he must do to save a woman for herself when he can’t save himself. Then he goes for lighter tones in “Patty Cake,” which is an excellent feel good song that reminds you of Black’s youthful exuberance.

On the other hand, there were some misses in his album as well. “Off the Land” is OK but he had some troubling lyrics such as, “I get stupid on a n***a, like I’m autistic.” He had other lyrics sprinkled throughout his songs that made me shake my head as well. On his next album, I’d like to see more tact but at 19 he still has excellent wordplay and a distinct style. I would just like to see less disparaging comments from him in future works as young men could take these in the wrong light.

In terms of featured artists, he had legendary rappers Bun B and Young Jeezy on his album, which speaks volumes to which he is thought of in the rap community. “Candy Paint,” one of my favorite songs on the album, features Bun B and is an excellent mix of the grime rap of Bun B whereas Black takes a more lighthearted approach.

The album also features beats from hit-making producers such as Metro Boomin’ and Mike Will Made It, but it didn’t sound like a real trap album in terms of the beats. Black has a very distinctive style that doesn’t require oversaturated trap beats, which is one of the reasons he is so popular.

In conclusion, this album was an excellent one considering it was a debut album. Black further cemented his place as the future of hip-hop. On the other hand, I’d like to hear less about gun violence in the future. Admittedly, that is a tall task for any rapper as they use their life experience when writing. Hopefully Black stays incident-free and gives us some new positive vibes in the future.