“I’m thinking about quitting rapping/tell the truth I’m never happy.”
I couldn’t blame Kodak Black if he quit the rap game. It’s incredibly hard to make your way to being successful as an artist and arguably even harder to stay there once you make it. On top of that Kodak has legal woes that continue to dog him year after year, which one could argue is a direct result of the pressure Black feels to succeed as an artist. Pressure can make diamonds but it can also make people lose their damn minds. That pressure didn’t crack Kodak but it did result in the title track of “Closure,” one where he directly addresses his feelings about a foul friendship.
“You moved to the hood and fell in love with the trenches
Saw the love that I had and ever since you wanna steal it
Everything that we did, you was always in competition
But I included you in every move, was never stingy
With my plays, always made a way for you to be in position
First chance you had, you got a bag, you turned your back against me”
Even though I had my doubts about Kodak Black as a lyricist in the past (as did other writers here at RapReviews) I sense some growth as a writer in the verses. Bragging about what you have and boasting about what you’ll do to your enemies is the trope of modern rap songs, but on songs like “Some Time Away” he’s scratching beneath the surface. “Why should I expect everyone else to help me cry? The truth ain’t set me free yet, some people believe I’m lying.” When he says “lately I’m realizing my insecurities — sometimes I even question myself” I won’t lie — I’m stunned. I didn’t think he was capable of that much self-reflection. For an artist who was once uncharitably described as “mind numbing” songs like “X’s & O’s” are quite the revelation.
Dr. Zeuz & Ayo B provide effective production on this very short (under 15 minute) release, making “Closure” a far easier listen than I was expecting going in. This doesn’t immediately rewrite the book on Kodak Black. I appreciate that he was willing to wear his heart on his sleeve for a little while, but I want to see this emotional maturity continue further into his career. He shouldn’t completely abandon the things that got him the spotlight, but he should exercise the option to take his audience on a journey with him lyrically. They may not be able to enjoy the fruits of being a rap star the way he can, but they could definitely relate to his heartache and struggles, as those are the universal conditions of life itself. Let’s hope this trend continues.