You Just Like My Chain: Kodak Black’s “SKRT”

By    October 27, 2015


Paul Thompson never wears Timbs before Labor Day

Because the internet is a Sisyphean circle of content and outrage, writers spent yesterday reminding you that Earl Sweatshirt said a true thing on Twitter. (I know, I was one of them.) Kodak Black, the promising young rapper from Pompano Beach, Fla., had been snatched up for the OVO Magical Mystery Tour, you must be this viral to ride.

Earl wasn’t mad. As he pointed out, Drake doesn’t owe anyone a record deal or a Wraith or Blue Jays box seats. And to be clear, his cosigns have in the past carried great weight: Kendrick Lamar’s turn on Take Care broadened his fan base, and he, J. Cole, ASAP Rocky, and a handful of others benefited from opening spots on the seis man’s tours. Earl was just pointing out wave riding where he sees it, which is unquestionably fair game.

Readers of this site might remember Kodak Black. Last year, our Torii MacAdams did the then-17-year-old MC’s first extensive interview; since then we’ve listened carefully as he raps about paper currency, Haiti, and paper currency. You should, too–the Boosie comparisons run deeper than the voice, deeper than the lawyer fees.

So what exactly was Aubrey dancing to on Instagram? “SKRT” is taken from Heart of the Projects, last year’s follow-up to 2013’s essential Project Baby. (Each of those tapes dropped as the calendar was about to flip, so legal concerns notwithstanding, we could yet hear this year’s Youngest of da Camp.)

2014 saw Kodak turn 18, as he so Swiftianly documents, and start experimenting more with negative space. His voice became more pliable, more central to the song’s direction where he had once been a piece of the maximalism.

The writing is beautifully Kodak: he gives no second thought to the robberies, but can’t get over teenage romance’s profound discomfort. So the threats get more direct and the girl gets dumped. Fuck my school and fuck my teacher, too. And yet, no one’s ever been this happy with twenty-two thousand dollars.

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