Reviews

Kodak Black “When I Was Dead” Album Review

When I Was Dead

Kodak Black

  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Date: 10 Nov, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 19
  • Vulture Love/Capitol Records; ℗ 2023 Vulture Love, LLC, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc.
Kodak Black &Quot;When I Was Dead&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 10, 2023
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Kodak Black released his new album, “When I Was Dead,” on 10 Nov 2023, as a follow-up to Pistolz & Pearlz, which came out in May. His viral interview on the Drink Champs podcast, where he discussed various topics, including his breakup with 21 Savage, precedes the album’s release. Even though Kodak gave us some of the street rap hits that everyone knows him for, like “Nothing To Me,” “Come Thru Flushin’,” and “Extra Clips,” his raw vulnerability is what draws people to him. Kodak stands out from other rappers in the industry with his distinct blend of street cred and emotional openness, which also helps him build a devoted following.

Kodak demonstrates his duality as a person who can manage himself in the public eye while exposing his grief and despair, unlike many rappers who want to present an intimidating appearance. His lyrics, in which he discloses details about his complex history and difficulties, clarify this vulnerability. Fans who may have gone through comparable hardships find a sense of relatability and connection in Kodak’s genuine expression of his emotions.

Album Art

Kodak Black &Quot;When I Was Dead&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 10, 2023

The album cover is a monochromatic portrait of Kodak Black wearing ice chains and jewellery and holding his arms crossed in front of him. He appears to be grinning somewhat, but it seems more menacing than joyful. The simple design of the cover suggests that Kodak is prepared to be upfront about his skills right away. Kodak Black’s ostentatious accessories contrast with the black-and-white colour palette, creating a visually arresting image that captures the duality of his character. The album art selection suggests a more in-depth musical examination of his feelings and experiences.

Tracks And Features

Yak’s unique ability to convey raw emotions through his honest lyrics and soulful voice is showcased beautifully in “When I Was Dead”. The bluesy undertones of the song further enhance Yak’s legendary status as a performer, leaving listeners captivated by his talent and authenticity. Metro Boomin (Future, Post Malone) produces the album’s opening tune, “Kylie Grande,” in which he explores his emotional persona. The song displays his profundity of emotion and tenderness with a catchy melody and reflective lyrics. The song gains a distinctive touch of collaboration with Metro Boomin, who combines trap elements with his signature style.

He accomplishes this effectively in “Close to Me,” as he shares his emotional and spiritual emptiness and engages the listener with genuine honesty. The eerie production perfectly complements his reflective words, creating a captivating, immersive experience. “Close to Me” stands out among the other songs in his repertoire because they blend to create a soundscape that connects with listeners.

When Kodak speaks up about his previous transgressions and want for redemption in “I’m Kodak,” his vulnerability is evident as he discusses his conflicts and desire for atonement. Listeners can identify with the sensitive lyrics and his road towards self-compassion since they weave a compelling and realistic story. “I’m Kodak” cements its position as another noteworthy piece in his discography by providing a poignant reminder of the potential for human growth and enlightenment.

In “Fuck You Too,” he talks about suffering and heartache. He conveys the universal sense of love gone wrong through his open storytelling, which resonates with audiences who have experienced comparable difficulties in their romances. This music is a cathartic catharsis for the artist and his listeners, showcasing Kodak’s ability to communicate his inner agony.

Though he is still on a journey, he does a fantastic job of demonstrating growth. For instance, in “Eaze Your Mind,” we watch Kodak deal with love and grief; in “Burning Rubber,” he wishes his detractors well, realizing that their criticism only strengthens his resolve. Boi-1da, who produced songs for Drake, Rihanna, and Kendrick Lamar, combines fleeting couplets and bursts of ethereal singing with serious death threats, yacht party flexes, and trap logistics in “Burning Rubber.” These instances show how Kodak could take stock of his experiences and turn them into motivation for his development, which helped him become a more resilient artist.

In “Hard Life,” he reflects on his early years and even touches on the 21 Savage scenarios. He talks about how his friend betrayed him by going commercial and giving in to a girl, illustrating Kodak’s readiness to face past transgressions and work through the difficulties of relationships. These reflective songs demonstrate his development as an artist who grows personally and professionally by learning from his errors and drawing inspiration from them.

These diverse pieces showcase Kodak’s capacity to examine a range of subjects and moods in his musical compositions. His lyrics explore the intricacies of love, the consequences of betrayal, and the difficulties of dealing with celebrity. This multidimensional approach helps listeners relate to his experiences and gives his artistic journey more depth.

He keeps the audience on the edge of their seats by periodically experimenting with other sounds, such as on the energetic song “2’CY” and the 80s-style pop ballad “Scared of My Money,” where Kodak sings. On the song “2’CY,” Kodak adds a twist of captivating delirium to a celestial club beat, drowning his vocals in distorted auto-tune. Innovative but rooted in his lineage of heartfelt poetry for the trenches, ‘When I Was Dead’ is classic Kodak, a unique symbol of style that unites the past, present, and future.

The music video for “Lemme See” is, without a doubt, the most popular track on the album. It boasts a sleek, minimalist style and was expertly directed by ILLIMITEWORLD in striking black and white. The video perfectly complements the song’s simplistic aesthetic with its clean visuals and chromatic palette. ILLIMITEWORLD’s direction adds a touch of artistic flair, enhancing the overall experience for viewers. Kodak is shown strolling, joint in hand, about his neighbourhood in Pompano Beach. Kodak hasn’t forgotten where he came from, unlike other musicians who have left the hood to become commercial superstars and have never looked back home.

Tracklist

NOTITLEARTISTTIME
1Kylie GrandeKodak Black3:12
2Close To MeKodak Black2:11
3I’m KodakKodak Black2:08
4Hard LifeKodak Black3:28
5Burning RubberKodak Black2:43
6Lemme SeeKodak Black2:45
72’CYKodak Black2:59
8Nothing To MeKodak Black2:36
9Came Thru Flushin’Kodak Black3:34
10Eaze Your MindKodak Black3:11
11Fuck You TooKodak Black3:26
12ColostomyKodak Black & WizDaWizard2:22
13Extra ClipsKodak Black, WizDaWizard & Wam SpinThaBin3:56
14Scared Of My MoneyKodak Black2:13
15Right On TimeKodak Black2:26
16Facetime HidingKodak Black2:04
17My Chest OutKodak Black2:21
18Master PeaceKodak Black & OG Bobby Billions3:50
19Hope You KnowKodak Black3:47

Album Summary

It may not have been one of the year’s most anticipated albums, considering that this is Kodak’s second album of 2023. Still, Kodak has outperformed his peers in creating a robust and genuine work that exhibits personal development—something that even non-Kodak fans can appreciate. This album is another example of Kodak Black avoiding using cheat codes to increase his stream counts in favour of his ability to relate to fans and their vulnerabilities. He has become one of the most renowned street wordsmiths of his day, recognized for his chock-full lyrics and innate sense of sound.

Ultimately, Kodak produces his finest work when he is wholly committed, and this project is no different. “When I Was Dead” is the next piece in his legacy of catchy melodies, astounding skill, and lethal honesty.

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