Cut Through The Noise: Kodak Black, Polo G, YoungBoy Never Broke Again


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Tenzin Gyaldatsang

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role as writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

‘Every Balmain’ — Kodak Black ★★★★☆

Fair use from Atlantic Recording Corporation.

After being pardoned by former President Donald Trump, Kodak Black released “Every Balmain,” in which he talks about his life post-prison. The beginning is very odd as the chorus is slow compared to the beat, which was upbeat and groovy. The chorus does a fine job at keeping the vocals on par with the instrumentals, which made the track more catchy and memorable. Kodak includes multiple lines praising Tom Brady, who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was interesting as Kodak likes to incorporate athletes into his lyrics, like former NFL player Chris Johnson in “Conscience.” Something that I noticed was that Kodak sang in an almost monotone way, making it hard to find the emotion that he usually displays within his music. The tempo is smooth and consistent, which was the right move, as Kodak was able to put emphasis into instrumentals that are usually overlooked in his music. Overall, I’m pleased with “Every Balmain,” and hope to see more music from Kodak in the coming months.

‘GNF’ — Polo G ★★★☆☆

Fair use from Columbia Records.

Right from the beginning, “GNF” is a super energetic and zestful track that I really enjoyed. Polo G does an amazing job at keeping the energy high throughout the track. Polo G kept to his strengths here, which I applaud, as the track came out exceptional, but I want to see some growth and change in the way he produces music. Making adjustments is what every artist has to do to succeed, and Polo G is no exception. Contrary to “Every Balmain,” the emotion that Polo G puts into the lyrics is unambiguous and the vocals really bring the track to life. I appreciated the slowed-down tempo during the chorus, as it allows a chance to really let the lyrics sink in and get an understanding of Polo G’s message. Even though having the instruments fading away at the end of a track is common, it was perfect and fit well with the way the track flows. Polo G did a phenomenal job, but until I see drastic changes within his style of music, I’m not able to rank him amongst the likes of Drake and Migos.

‘Toxic Punk’  — YoungBoy Never Broke Again ★★★★☆

Fair use from GFH Records.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again starts the song off with mellow background instrumentals that lead straight into the chorus. The chorus is powerful and flows well with the instrumentals. I like how YoungBoy named the track “Toxic Punk,” referencing the video game “Cyberpunk 2077.” The lines that Youngboy says “Toxic Punk” show the hidden meaning behind the lyrics, which make it all the better. Some artists’ lyrics don’t have much depth or emotional value, so it was refreshing to listen to. Between the chorus’, something that caught my attention was the lack of background instruments during the first verse. The absence of the background instruments put emphasis on the vocals, which was a fantastic decision. Overall, I’m satisfied with “Toxic Punk,” and hope to see more exceptional tracks by YoungBoy in the future.