Friday, January 11th, 2019

Kodak Black – Calling My Spirit

He’ll need them…


Alfred Soto: He’s got legal fees, but he couldn’t afford a handler to at least make sure he’s singing into the mike? 

Nicholas Donohoue: I keep thinking each new Kodak Black single is his fresh out of prison single, in part because they are all about how he’s still bad, in part because he sounds the same on all of them, and in part because the lack of Kodak Black is just as vivid as the presence of Kodak Black, please forgive me for by absentmindedness.

Ryo Miyauchi: Gunna’s current popularity seems to inform “Calling My Spirit” from that twangy guitar loop as well as Kodak’s muted yet still melodic precision with his bars. The way he curls syllables shows a rapper finely in tune with his instrument, though the performance feels a bit too exact for his voice to convey the same amount of presence as other Kodak records.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Jake One’s guitar loop married to about as rudimentary a production effort from Southside is about as stripped down a beat as you can ask for these days to charge for as much as they’re doing. Meanwhile, Kodak’s just at the interim between his gushing of emotions and details and his perfunctory ‘bars’ attempts while wandering in and out of various flows, all safeguarded with rather ragged sounding auto-tune on a voice that’s rather well-equipped to defeat any computerized smoothing. This record isn’t going to impress doubters nor convert those who’ve comfortably scorned Kodak for his behavior, yet it’s one of the better singles from Dying to Live as unsatisfactory as that may be.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: “It’s like you gotta sell your soul for them to pay attention,” Kodak warbles in the chorus. With its aggressively barebones and unrefined sound, “Calling My Spirit” finds him driving that point home. He sounds tired, his changes in flow feeling both effortless and strained. Several Kodak songs are sad, but this is the only one that feels that way because it reads as nondescript.

Anthony Easton: It’s kind of anonymous, anemic, how it slurs and slides into a conflicted idea about speed. I know that boring is an aesthetic, and one that in this kind of benzo-drenched hip hop I’ve enjoyed, but this isn’t conceptually boring, it’s just dull. I like how it speeds up a little bit about a minute in, though. 

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