Pistolz & Pearlz
For nearly a decade now, Kodak Black has navigated the rap game with no shortage of highs and lows. Still, the post-incarceration wins of “Super Gremlin” and the 2022 album Back for Everything put the controversial yet exceedingly popular Florida rapper back in a position of prominence. So, for Pistolz & Pearlz, an apparent finale for his long-time major-label home base of Atlantic Records, he delivers a characteristically strong effort that speaks to his past as much as his future. He shrewdly frontloads the project with features from Sniper Gang associates like GorditoFlo and Vvsnce, giving some deserved shine to the artists currently riding with him. But after the booming trio cut “Dirt McGerk”, with EST Gee & Lil Crix, he largely places the focus back on himself for the duration. Whether expressing an ice-cold worldview on “Murder Mystery” or sing-rapping about loyalty and love on “Follow Me”, his consistency stays undeniably on display. On the piano-led trap ballad “No Love for a Thug”, an album highlight, he opens up about loneliness and feeling emotionally adrift in ways rarely heard in hip-hop.