Back For Everything
Since his release from jail in early 2021, the majority of any attention directed towards Kodak Black was a by-product of the MC's freewheeling lifestyle: beefing with former friends, making romantic advances to other rap stars via social media, and even getting shot outside of a Los Angeles nightclub. But then came “Super Gremlin.” The ATL Jacob- and Jambo-produced song, which took off just about as soon as it was released (“Super Gremlin” first appeared on October 2021’s Sniper Gang Presents Syko Bob & Snapkatt: Nightmare Babies album), appears as a bonus track on Kodak’s Back for Everything. And in the context of the album, it was foreshadowing of the artist informally known as Yak’s return to form. Back for Everything, as its title implies, is Kodak Black returning from a hiatus that began with his incarceration in 2019 on gun-related charges (Kodak’s full sentence was commuted by Donald Trump in early 2021). The album, though, is the MC getting back to the uniquely catchy flows and endlessly inventive non sequiturs that once inspired Drake to proclaim, via Instagram comment, “You really all that for this generation and the next one if we being honest.” On Back for Everything, Kodak is less worried about his influence—“I switched my flow on them lil’ n***as who tried to steal my sound,” he says on the Zaytoven-produced “Elite Division”—and more concerned with emptying out the scratchpad that is his brain. Aside from maybe “Vulnerable” or “Love Isn’t Enough,” no song on Back for Everything is about any one thing, a pattern that recalls some of the most impressive verses of Lil Wayne’s mixtape catalog. So much of the rapping here sounds like freestyling in the traditional sense, but only to the extent that you’re listening to a savant at work. Yak sounds like he’s having the most fun stringing together lines about his girlfriend’s undergarments, what he has in common with Martin Luther King, his mom’s jewelry, why he has to smoke weed, and when it was that he lost his virginity in one particular sequence on “Purple Stamp.” He’s talking about anything and everything he wants to across Back for Everything, and that, more than anything, seems to be what was worth coming back for.