A while back, we, your Stereogum staff, made the decision to stop posting new music from the young Florida rap star Kodak Black. Kodak has been accused, multiple times, of abusing women. He’s a talented rapper and an important figure in the new rap ecosystem, but it didn’t seem like anything he could do would be good or important enough to cut through that. And then he went and made a fucking song with Bruno Mars. And now here we are.
Nothing about “Wake Up In The Sky” — the new collaboration from Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, and Kodak Black — makes any of Kodak’s alleged crimes OK. But the mere existence of this song is news, and it’s also fascinating. Here we have one of the world’s biggest and most down-the-middle pop stars sharing a track with two grimy Southern rappers, both of them massive influences on the current underground rap landscape. And everyone sounds so comfortable.
Mars produced the track, and it’s a hazy and melodic good-life anthem. It’s perfectly catchy and insubstantial, as songs like this so often are. Bruno Mars has done the crazy judo of making this song sound like something other than a forced crossover-hit attempt, even if that’s exactly what it is. If you like, you can hear it below.
“Wake Up In The Sky” will reportedly end up on a Gucci Mane album called Evil Genius, but it might as well be a standalone single, since that’s how most everyone will hear it.