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Bill K. Kapri[6][7] (born Dieuson Octave; June 11, 1997), better known by his stage name Kodak Black,[8] is an American rapper, singer and songwriter. He is noted for his singles "Zeze", "Roll in Peace", "Tunnel Vision", and "No Flockin", as well as his numerous legal issues.

Kodak Black
Kodak Black Press Photo by David Cabrera.jpg
Kodak Black in an Atlantic press photo in 2017
Background information
Birth nameDieuson Octave
Also known as
  • Kodak Black
  • J-Black[1]
Born (1997-06-11) June 11, 1997 (age 22)[2]
Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2009–present
Labels
Associated acts

Contents

Early life

Kodak Black was born Dieuson Octave on June 11, 1997 in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he was also raised. His parents were migrants from Haiti. Kapri was raised by his mother in Golden Acres, a public housing project in Pompano Beach.[8]

Kapri started rapping in elementary school and began to go to a local trap house after school to record music.[9] He spent his youth reading thesauruses and dictionaries to further his vocabulary.[10] Kapri frequently participated in brawls and breaking and entering with his friends.[8] He was expelled from school in the fifth grade for fighting and was arrested for auto theft while in middle school.[11] About his upbringing, he said that he was given two options: "sell drugs with a gun on his hip or rap".[12]

From the age of six, Kapri used the nickname "Black". He also used the nickname "Lil' Black". When he joined Instagram he chose the username 'Kodak Black', "...'cause you know Kodak, that's pictures and all that." This later became his stage name when he started to rap and a name favored by his fans.[8][5]

Career

2009–2015: Beginnings and Project Baby

In 2009, at age 12, Kapri joined a rap group called Brutal Youngnz, under the stage name J-Black.[1] He then joined a local rap group called The Kolyons.[8][13] In December 2013, Kapri released his first mixtape, Project Baby,[14] followed in December 2014 with the mixtape Heart of the Projects,[15] and in December 2015 with the mixtape Institution.[16]

In October 2015, Canadian rapper Drake posted a video of himself dancing to one of Kapri's songs, "Skrt", which helped him gain popularity[17][18] despite objections from other rappers such as Earl Sweatshirt.[19] That same month, he signed a deal with Atlantic Records.[4] In May 2016, Kapri and rapper and label-mate Lil Uzi Vert announced their intention to partner for a national tour called the "Parental Advisory Tour"; however, Kapri did not appear on the tour.[20]

2016–present: Breakout, Painting Pictures, Project Baby 2 and Dying to Live

In May 2016, he was featured on French Montana's single "Lockjaw", from French Montana's 21st mixtape MC4, which reached a peak position of 23 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[21] In August 2016, Kapri’s single Skrt reached number 10 on Billboard's "Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles" chart.[22] In June 2016, he released his fourth mixtape, Lil B.I.G. Pac, which became his first mixtape to chart on Billboard, reaching number 49 on the "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums" chart and number 18 on the Heatseakers Albums chart.[23]

In June 2016, Kapri was named one of XXL magazine's "2016 Freshman Class".[24]

In August 2016, Kapri was criticized when a studio session video was released showing him ridiculing dark-skinned black women with lyrics which implied those women were less attractive than light-skinned black women, which is considered a type of misogynoir—anti-Black hatred towards women.[25][26]

In 2016, Kapri released the song "Can I" while he was in jail.[27]

On February 17, 2017, Kapri released the single "Tunnel Vision".[28] The song debuted at number 27 and peaked at number 6, becoming Kapri's first top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Canadian Hot 100.[29][30]

On March 31, 2017, Kapri released his debut studio album Painting Pictures.[31] The album reached 3 on the Billboard 200 and sold 71,000 equivalent units first week, a record for Kapri.[32] While discussing rappers and fellow 2016 XXL Freshmen, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, Kapri created controversy when he insulted them whilst conducting a livestream on Instagram.[33] Lil Uzi Vert replied stating that he was not bothered by the insult and that he still "fucked with" Kapri.[34] He released the follow-up to Project Baby, Project Baby 2, on August 18, 2017.[35] In November 2017, Kapri released a deluxe version of Project Baby 2 titled Project Baby 2: All Grown Up.[36] The single from the deluxe version, "Codeine Dreaming", peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In January 2018, Kapri was arrested following a raid on his Florida home. Kapri later released the Heart Break Kodak mixtape on Valentines Day.[37][38]

On December 14, 2018, Kodak released his second album Dying to Live. The album was led by the successful single "Zeze" which featured rappers Travis Scott and Offset, as well as "Take One", "Calling My Spirit", and "If I'm Lyin', I'm Flyin'". The album also featured rapper Lil Pump on "Gnarly", and paid respects to the late rapper XXXTentacion.[39] "Zeze" peaked at #2 on the Hot 100, then "Calling My Spirit", also from the album, peaked at #46. Dying to Live as a whole was on the Hot 200 chart for 15 weeks, and peaked at #1 for a week.[40]

Musical style

Kapri’s music is frequently about "previous and future criminal misdeeds", and he stated that he's been influenced by rappers Boosie Badazz and Chief Keef.[8]

The New Yorker described his "manifestly youthful voice" and "mutinous sound", and stated "Kapri joins other young rappers who have rejected an old-school emphasis on lyrical variety, individualism, and personal catharsis".[41]

In 2016, The Fader wrote that he "articulates the constant state of affliction that living in a poverty-stricken environment can mean. He makes emotionally intelligent observations in a manner reminiscent of teenage artists of the '90s, such as Mobb Deep and Lil' Wayne, whose voices were valued as genuine illustrations of life in their corners of America."[42]

Kapri has been frequently described as a mumble rapper.[43][44]

Personal life

In 2014, Kapri stated that he was working towards his high school diploma at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach.[8][45]

During his incarceration, Kapri began to identify as a Hebrew Israelite after a priest who conducts prison ministry studied scripture with him.[46] He later filed to change his name to Bill Kahan Blanco, with Kahan meaning "priest" in Hebrew.[47] On May 2, 2018, he legally changed his name from "Dieuson Octave" to "Bill K. Kapri".[6][7]

In June 2018, Kapri earned his GED while in jail.[48]

Philanthropy

On October 1, Kodak donated $10,000 to the Jack and Jill Children's center, which is a provider of early children's education.[49] In November 2018, Kodak announced that he was building a school in Haiti.[50]

On December 20, 2019, Kodak donated enough money to Paradise Childcare in Broward County, Florida, to provide gifts for 150 kids in the area. In addition, he also donated $5,000 for the organization's annual Christmas party.[51]

In late 2018 he donated $2,500 to South Carolina police officer Terrence Carraway, who was killed in a shootout on duty. On May 3, 2019, Kodak Black donated $12,500 to a girl named Paige Cook, the girl's goal was to give pencils and notebooks to give to all 7,600 students in the Cleburne Independent School District in Texas, a low income district. In 2018, Paige raised enough money to buy over 40,000 pencils.[52][53]

In the wake of the 2019 Colorado STEM Shooting, Kodak's lawyer reached out the family of Kendrick Ray Castillo, who was shot and killed after lunging at the attacker, on May 11, 2019, and offered to pay for Castillo's funeral, and set aside an annual $10,000 scholarship for any student wishing to go to college for science or engineering. His lawyer stated that the family had not yet responded.[54]

Controversies

In January 2017, Kapri broadcast an Instagram Live video of himself in a Washington, D.C hotel room with several other men, while a lone female performed oral sex on them. Kapri's Instagram account hit a record high during the broadcast.[55] The rapper later posted a message on Twitter about the incident reading "If I could change I swear I would .. I tried everything but I'm just so hood."[56]

In June 2017, he wrote on Instagram about his preference for light-skinned women over those with dark skin. He also stated in an interview that actress Keke Palmer was "straight", but that he "don't really like Black girls like that".[57] Some Twitter users responded negatively,[58] provoking Kapri to delete both his Instagram and Twitter accounts.[59] Kapri also stated that light-skinned women are easier to break down, black women are "too gutter", and that he does not like his own skin complexion.[60]

In April 2019, he received controversy when he offered to "wait" for the girlfriend of late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed a few days beforehand. Kodak said he'd "give her a whole year" if she "might need a whole year to be crying and shit for him." He received immediate backlash for these comments. Justin Credible, a DJ for the radio station Power 106 announced that the station would be boycotting Kodak's music. Justin said "We stand with the family of Nipsey Hussle and are appalled by the disrespectful and poor comments made by Kodak Black." Fellow rappers T.I. and The Game also responded, with T.I. saying "You outta pocket nigga," in a video recorded for Kodak. On April 7, Kodak apologized, saying "If I disrespected you Lauren London in any shape or form, I am sorry. Even though I didn’t.”[61][62][63][64]

Legal issues

 
Kodak Black's mugshot in May 2016

Kapri was placed into a youth detention center three times in one year, and then placed on probation.[13][dead link]

In October 2015, he was arrested in Pompano Beach and charged with robbery, battery, false imprisonment of a child, and possession of cannabis. He was later released.[2]

In April 2016, Kapri was arrested in Hallandale Beach, Florida and charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and fleeing from officers.[65] The following month, he was arrested in Broward County, Florida and charged with armed robbery and false imprisonment. He was detained in custody.[45][66]

In August 2016, he appeared in court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Several executives from Atlantic Records attended the court; vice-president Michael Kushner commented "Black has a bright future as a recording artist".[67] Kapri pleaded no contest to all charges and under a plea agreement was to be placed on house arrest for one year, have five years probation, perform community service as required, and take anger management classes. He would also be permitted to tour internationally.[68][69] Prior to his release from Broward Main Jail, police discovered two outstanding criminal warrants, the first from Florence, South Carolina alleging felony criminal sexual conduct, the second from St. Lucie County, Florida alleging two counts of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Kapri was not released from jail.[67]

In September 2016, Kapri pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor drug charges and was sentenced to four months in jail. He was credited for time spent in custody awaiting trial and was required to serve 120 days. He was also suspended from driving for one year.[70]

Kapri was released from jail in Florida, and was then transported to Florence, South Carolina to face charges of sexual assault. According to the female victim, who reported the incident to her school nurse, she had attended a February 2016 performance by Kapri at "Treasure City" in Florence, after which she accompanied him to his hotel room where he is alleged to have told her he "couldn't help himself" as he tore off her clothes, bit her repeatedly, and raped her as she screamed for help. Kapri was released from custody in South Carolina on December 1, 2016 after posting a $100,000 bond, but returned to court on February 8, 2017.[71] About Kapri, the Miami New Times asked "is he the product of larger societal problems, having been raised on a steady diet of misogynistic rap lyrics?"[72] Within hours of release, he recorded and released "There He Go",[73] a single which mentions his recent release from jail:

Just hopped off the plane I just got out about a day ago
Everybody love me, when they see me they be like, "There he go!"
Got me a new lady, we 'bout to take a trip to Mexico
Crackers took my .40 so I'm 'bout to go buy a Draco (an AK-47 rifle)[74]

In February 2017, Kapri was arrested again for violation of his probation. He was held without bond and his musical tour was postponed.[75]

In April 2017, Kapri was indicted by a grand jury in South Carolina, and will go on trial in April 2019 in Florence, South Carolina on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.[76] Also in April 2017, he appeared in court in Florida, where his anger management counselor Ramona Sanchez spoke about him disrupting her class. Sanchez said he was constantly burping during her class, and when asked to leave, he refused. When Sanchez threatened to call 911, he grabbed her phone and her wrist. The counselor recommended that Kapri will participate in individual therapy instead of group therapy.[77]

On May 4, 2017, he was sentenced for violating his house arrest to 364 days in the Broward County Jail, with the possibility of an early release if he completes a life skills course. He was released on June 5, 2017. He will remain on house arrest for one year, and five years of probation.[78]

Kapri was arrested inside of his Pembroke Pines, Florida home in January 2018 on multiple charges stemming from an Instagram live-feed video showing him passing marijuana and a gun around a small child. He initially faced seven felony charges including child neglect, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and marijuana possession.[79] On February 22, 2018, three charges against Kapri were dropped[80] and he pleaded not guilty to the remaining two.[81] On April 17, he pleaded not guilty to the remaining charges, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana, and was sentenced to 364 days in prison with credit for time served.[82] He was released on August 18, 2018.[83]

While on tour in the Southeast, a South Carolinian Prosecutor announced that Kodak would be facing trial for first degree criminal sexual conduct for the alleged rape in February 2016. The prosecutor said that in the summer or early fall, Kodak would have to return to South Carolina and face trial for the charges. They stated he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. 12 Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements stated “We are slowly but steadily moving toward a disposition." There was also reportedly a number of lesser, related charges. The office of the prosecutor stated the victim was not a minor at the time of the alleged rape.[84][85]

As of April 5, 2019, a concert promoter filed a lawsuit against Kodak for failing to appear at his concerts. Nicholas Fitts - the promoter - claims that Kodak was contractually obliged to perform for him on March 3, 2017 in New York, but did not show up. Fitts then rescheduled it for April 2017, and Kodak failed to appear once more. Then on a third makeup date, Kodak once more failed to appear. Fitts stated that the incident caused him over $500,000 in losses and hurt his reputation. His lawsuit was suing for over $500,000.[86]

While trying to re-enter the United States from Canada on April 17, 2019, Kodak was arrested by United States' Borders and Customs Protections after border authorities found weed and a Glock in his car. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and unlawful possession of marijuana by authorities. Bail was set at either $40,000 or $20,000, he was released on the 18th. As a result of the arrest, a performance in Boston and a performance in Connecticut was cancelled.[87][88][89]

Late on April 24, 2019, while on tour for his most recent album, Dying to Live, and while performing at a venue, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Metropolitan police entered and searched one of Kodak's tour buses that was parked at the venue. While Kodak was not in the vehicle at the time, the FBI found weapons in the vehicle and detained a few of Kodak's crew members. Allegedly, the FBI attempted to enter the club in which Kodak was performing, but denied entry by the owner. TMZ stated it was "unclear" whether or not the bus was actually owned by Kodak. This came a week after his arrest at the US-Canada border. It was stated Kodak himself did not get in trouble with law enforcement.[90][91]

On May 11, 2019, while preparing to perform at Rolling Loud Miami, Kodak was arrested on firearm charges before he could perform. He was arrested by Miami PD and Federal Officers, and is facing state and federal charges. This was nearly a month after he was arrested while entering the United States from Canada.[92][93] Kodak was charged with 2 counts of making a false statement on a governmental form, this apparently stems from January 2019, when he lied on a form while attempting to purchase firearms. He filed to use his $600,000 home as collateral for his $500,000 bond for the indictments and was granted the bond, being released. He reportedly faces up to 10 years in prison on the charges, and plead not guilty on May 15. Federal prosecutors, however, are attempting to revoke Kodak's bail, pointing to past violent crimes, such as a 2012 carjacking incident, and his possible connections to a shooting in March. The new arrest may also cause his bond in the 2016 South Carolina rape case to be revoked. Federal prosecutors stated that he is a danger to society due to his long history of criminal acts as well as his repeated violation of past probation rules. Kodak's lawyer stated that he voluntarily turned himself in upon hearing of a warrant, and is not a danger to society due to the crime being non-violent.[94][95][96]

Discography

Studio albums

Mixtapes

See also

References

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External links