Kutthroat Bill: Vol 1 review | Kodak sounds uninspired and out of ideas on his latest release

★★☆☆☆ Kodak returns for his second album of 2022, after February’s Back For Everything, with Kutthroat Bill: Vol 1, another lacklustre addition to his catalogue.

Kodak Black MTV Awards 2017


The problem that Kodak finds on his latest album is that too often he just doesn’t say much. Whether it’s behind a generic trap beat or a more melodic style, Kodak often resorts to basic, and often boring, lyrics that don’t provide anything to the listener. As much is proved from the off, in ‘Slay Like Santa’ when Kodak asserts that “They respect me like Santa they know imma slay (sleigh)”.

Tracks ‘Game from Pluto’ and ‘Demand My Respect’ sound like part 1 & 2 of a boring trap series, something telling about the album as a whole. The instrumentals, which are of the utmost importance in the genre Kodak finds himself in, are not catchy, and often sound dated.

Similarly, his more melodic songs don’t stand out. They vary more than the record’s trap cuts, but they aren’t good enough to be hit-worthy. ‘Hop Out Shoot’ provides some much needed variation from the relentless hi-hats throughout the project, yet tracks such as ‘Starter Kit,’ featuring perhaps the most annoying verse of the year from VVSNCE, prevent these tracks from feeling like they are building into anything more than a half-memorable moment on the project.

kodak black kutthroat bill vol 1

Kodak is at his best behind the classic piano-trap beats. ‘Freezing My Pinky’ is a vibe, even if it sounds suspiciously close to something Lil Baby would release with its sporadic bass hits and Kodak’s flow. ‘300 Blackout’ brings some more substance to the record, as Kodak reminisces of his life of crime and interactions with the law behind a relentless flow that leaves the song without the chorus, a refreshing change. Elsewhere, the violin behind ‘I’m So Awesome’ carries the track, but it is nonetheless a noteworthy moment on the album.

Kodak leaves the best until last, however, as the album closes with its best two tracks. Kodak sounds surprisingly good singing on ‘Bad Man’, before Tobagonian dancehall artist Prince Swanny drops the best feature on the project. Once you look past the drawn-out chorus and the frankly shit bar on ‘Silencer,’ we see Kodak flowing over a catchy trap beat, whilst the strings in the bridge to chorus somehow make Kodak rapping about how he wants to “turn into a Perc’ head” sound inspirational.

Despite this, Kutthroat Bill lacks the substance to warrant its 51-minute runtime. Kodak has undoubtedly sharpened up his singing, and his appeal isn’t to be questioned by anyone who believes in the judgement of Kendrick Lamar, but Kodak does not give us anything on this record that we haven’t heard before: crime, bitches, drugs, money.

Other albums have had the benefit of a huge lead single – Black’s ‘Super Gremlin,’ the lead single off of Back For Everything, went four-times platinum today – but Kodak’s attempt at this in ‘Walk’ hasn’t achieved the streams that are expected from a Kodak Black hit. There is little on this album that sounds original, and even the best songs don’t stray far from today’s mainstream trap sound.

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