Since he burst onto the scene, fan response to Kodak Black and his music was more or less divisive. Some felt that the Floridian emcee was one of hip-hop’s most promising up-and-comers, while others felt he embodied what they believed to be a decaying quality of hip-hop culture. Still, after his promising but flawed Painting Pictures, Kodak continued to drop consistently fire music, culminating in the release of his highly anticipated Project Baby 2. The album dropped this morning, and from the first track it’s clear that Kodak is coming out swinging.
With consistent production from criminally underrated London On Da Track, Project Baby 2 seems like it could very well be a transitional album for Kodak, helping convince some of his most ardent detractors to change teams. It might be surprising to some that one of the best songs is a collaboration with the notorious Members Only ring-leader XXXTENTACION, who is probably twenty times more divisive than Kodak ever was.
With music ranging from subdued acoustic ballads to terrifying scream-fests on distorted beats, X is somewhat of a genre chameleon. Luckily, it seems as if London On Da Track’s production awoke something inside the young rapper, and X turns in one of his most charismatic performances yet. His impressive flow shines as he addresses his most infamous personal controversy, the alleged beating of his ex-girlfriend. It’s interesting stuff from X, and it shows that he can truly shine in a more traditional hip-hop setting.
As for Kodak, it seems as if he’s already evolved since Painting Pictures, sounding more confident lyrically and bringing a more refined sense of songwriting to the table. The hooks are stronger, the flows are on point, and his entire presence is that of a future star. And while Project Baby 2 is a lengthy project, “Roll In Peace,” is one of many highlights.