16 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ahead of Dying to Live’s release, Kodak Black shared a behind-the-scenes clip from the “Calling My Spirit” video shoot. In it the Pompano Beach, Florida MC talks about his decision to avoid being photographed in the set’s jail cell for fear of glorifying incarceration. This plays out as something of a milestone for Kodak, someone whose career to date has been marked by increasingly promising albums and mixtapes—all dropped amid stints in prison. The rapper’s tone on Dying to Live, the first project since his release this past August, is one of a man weary of his future—Kodak awaits trial for sexual assault charges stemming from an incident in 2016—and concerned with his influence.

The album opens with “Testimony,” a song reaffirming Kodak’s faith. “I’m God-sent, like He sent me up/So I can relay these messages/Like He used me as His vessel/Like He used me as an instrument,” he raps. Songs like “Gospel,” from 2015’s Institution, have approached the rapper’s faith in a similar manner, but Dying to Live’s “Close to the Grave” and “Needed Something” stay true to a theme of repentance.

The album is hardly all street gospel though. “Malcolm X.X.X.,” which features sound bites from Malcolm X’s 1963 interview with then-sociology grad student J. Herman Blake, pays tribute to Kodak’s friend and collaborator XXXTENTACION, while “Identity Theft” references a past filled with credit card fraud (which Kodak admits is never far from his mind). Also present on the album is the D.A. Doman-produced runaway smash “ZEZE” as well as a skittering pop collaboration with Lil Pump, “Gnarly,” in which Kodak touts the joys of Molly and Cialis. If Dying to Live tells us anything about Kodak, it’s that he remains the dynamic, conflicted, and alluring South Florida MC that fans have waited on patiently. And for their trouble? An apology on “Close to the Grave”: “Sorry, Lord, the Devil got a hold of me lately.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ahead of Dying to Live’s release, Kodak Black shared a behind-the-scenes clip from the “Calling My Spirit” video shoot. In it the Pompano Beach, Florida MC talks about his decision to avoid being photographed in the set’s jail cell for fear of glorifying incarceration. This plays out as something of a milestone for Kodak, someone whose career to date has been marked by increasingly promising albums and mixtapes—all dropped amid stints in prison. The rapper’s tone on Dying to Live, the first project since his release this past August, is one of a man weary of his future—Kodak awaits trial for sexual assault charges stemming from an incident in 2016—and concerned with his influence.

The album opens with “Testimony,” a song reaffirming Kodak’s faith. “I’m God-sent, like He sent me up/So I can relay these messages/Like He used me as His vessel/Like He used me as an instrument,” he raps. Songs like “Gospel,” from 2015’s Institution, have approached the rapper’s faith in a similar manner, but Dying to Live’s “Close to the Grave” and “Needed Something” stay true to a theme of repentance.

The album is hardly all street gospel though. “Malcolm X.X.X.,” which features sound bites from Malcolm X’s 1963 interview with then-sociology grad student J. Herman Blake, pays tribute to Kodak’s friend and collaborator XXXTENTACION, while “Identity Theft” references a past filled with credit card fraud (which Kodak admits is never far from his mind). Also present on the album is the D.A. Doman-produced runaway smash “ZEZE” as well as a skittering pop collaboration with Lil Pump, “Gnarly,” in which Kodak touts the joys of Molly and Cialis. If Dying to Live tells us anything about Kodak, it’s that he remains the dynamic, conflicted, and alluring South Florida MC that fans have waited on patiently. And for their trouble? An apology on “Close to the Grave”: “Sorry, Lord, the Devil got a hold of me lately.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
324 Ratings

324 Ratings

Nick_9_26_08 ,

Nice

Probably his best album so far, except for lil pumps verse lol

JKT1994 ,

TRASH

Blablablablayeah ice ice I tapped ur chick, what the hell are you saying. LEARN HOW TO RAP this is not rap this is mumbling with choppy music in the background.

Skews mention I ekenxnsjen ,

Talent or just pure selfish

Why does rapping these days. Sound like a old granny on drugs. Back in my day. You could actually understand what they was saying. I mean it wasn't good. But then again when you let a gangster or so called gangster make music. It's like trying get down with your woman. But after wards realizing she's a
skunk.

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