Bill Kahan Kapri (born Dieuson Octave, June 11, 1997), better known by his stage name Kodak Black, is an American rapper. He gained initial recognition with his single "No Flockin," released in 2014. His debut album, Painting Pictures (2017), peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 and included the Billboard Hot 100 top ten single "Tunnel Vision". Black's second album, Dying to Live (2018), peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and was supported by the single "Zeze" (featuring Travis Scott and Offset), which peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100.
Kodak Black in an Atlantic press photo; 2017
|Birth name||Dieuson Octave|
|Also known as|
|Born||June 11, 1997|
Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S.
Kodak Black's career has been marked by periods of mainstream success, as well as public controversies and legal issues. His legal troubles began in middle school and spiked significantly throughout the late 2010s. In 2019, Black was arrested for weapons possession and was sentenced to almost four years in federal prison. While incarcerated, he released his third studio album, Bill Israel (2020).
Kodak Black was born Dieuson Octave on June 11, 1997, in Pompano Beach, Florida, the son of a Haitian immigrant, Marcelene Octave. He later changed his name to Bill K. Kapri. Kodak Black was raised by his mother in Golden Acres, a public housing project in Pompano Beach.
Kodak Black started rapping in elementary school and began to go to a local trap house after school to record music. He spent his youth reading thesauruses and dictionaries to further his vocabulary. Kodak Black frequently participated in brawls and breaking and entering with his friends. He was expelled from school in the fifth grade for fighting and was arrested for auto theft while in middle school. About his upbringing, he said that he was given two options: "sell drugs with a gun on his hip or rap".
From the age of six, Kodak Black 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.
2009–2015: Beginnings and Project Baby
In 2009, at age 12, Kodak Black joined a rap group called Brutal Youngnz, under the stage name J-Black. He then joined a local rap group called The Kolyons. In December 2013, Kodak Black released his first mixtape, Project Baby, followed in December 2014 with the mixtape Heart of the Projects, and in December 2015 with the mixtape Institution.
In October 2015, Canadian rapper Drake posted a video of himself dancing to one of Kodak Black's songs, "Skrt", which helped him gain popularity despite objections from other rappers such as Earl Sweatshirt. That same month, he signed a deal with Atlantic Records. In May 2016, Kodak Black and rapper and label-mate Lil Uzi Vert announced their intention to partner for a national tour called the "Parental Advisory Tour"; however, Kodak Black did not appear on the tour.
2016–2017: Breakout, Painting Pictures, and Project Baby 2
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. In August 2016, Kodak Black's single Skrt reached number 10 on Billboard's "Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles" chart. 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.
In August 2016, Kodak Black 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.
In 2016, Kodak Black released the song "Can I" while he was in jail.
On February 17, 2017, Kodak Black released the single "Tunnel Vision". The song debuted at number 27 and peaked at number 6, becoming Kodak Black's first top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Canadian Hot 100.
On March 31, 2017, Kodak Black released his debut studio album Painting Pictures. The album reached 3 on the Billboard 200 and sold 71,000 equivalent units first week, a record for Kodak Black. While discussing rappers and fellow 2016 XXL Freshmen, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, Kodak Black created controversy when he insulted them whilst conducting a livestream on Instagram. Lil Uzi Vert replied stating that he was not bothered by the insult and that he still "fucked with" Kodak Black. He released the follow-up to Project Baby, Project Baby 2, on August 18, 2017. In November 2017, Kodak Black released a deluxe version of Project Baby 2 titled Project Baby 2: All Grown Up. The single from the deluxe version, "Codeine Dreaming", peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100.
2018–present: Heart Break Kodak, Dying to Live and Bill Israel
On December 14, 2018, Kodak Black 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", rapper Juice WRLD on "MoshPit", and paid tribute to dead rapper XXXTentacion. "Zeze" peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100, then "Calling My Spirit", also from the album, peaked at number 46. Dying to Live as a whole was on the Billboard 200 chart for 15 weeks, and peaked at number 1 for a week.
On October 25, 2019, Kodak Black released "Zombie" with NLE Choppa and DB Omerta. On February 14, 2020, Kodak Black released "Because of You", followed by a music video for the song. Kodak Black then claimed that if the song was certified platinum by his birthday, then he would release an album. On May 12, 2020, he released the single "Vultures Cry 2", featuring WizDaWizard and Mike Smiff.
On November 11, 2020, Kodak returned with his third album, Bill Israel, while serving a prison sentence. On January 23, 2021, he released the single, "Last Day In", in which he addresses his release from prison, thanks to his pardon from President Donald Trump: "Trump just freed me, but my favorite president is on the money/All they hatin' presidents has become evident to me". He released the single, "Every Balmain", on February 6, 2021, in which he discusses life post-prison. On February 19, he was featured on Lil Yachty's single, "Hit Bout It", which was released alongside an music video.
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".
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."
During his incarceration, Kodak Black began to identify as a Hebrew Israelite after a priest who conducts prison ministry studied scripture with him. He later filed to change his name to Bill Kahan Blanco, with Kahan supposedly being an alternative spelling of kohen, a term used in Judaism to refer to priests who descend from the prophet Aaron, the brother of Moses. On May 2, 2018, he legally changed his name from "Dieuson Octave" to "Bill K. Kapri".
On February 6, 2021, Kodak returned to social media with a new hairstyle and a slimmer figure. The same day, he posted a video to Twitter where he and his lawyer Bradford Cohen said that they had informed the FBI in Miami that Kodak would cover tuition costs for the two children of late FBI agent Laura Schwartzenberger and the child of late FBI agent Daniel Alfin, both of whom died on duty.
On October 1, Kodak Black donated $10,000 to the Jack and Jill Children's center, which is a provider of early children's education. In November 2018, Kodak Black announced that he was building a school in Haiti.
On December 20, 2018, Kodak Black donated enough money to Paradise Childcare in Broward County, Florida, to provide gifts for 150 children in the area. In addition, he also donated $5,000 for the organization's annual Christmas party.
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.
In the wake of the 2019 Colorado STEM shooting, Kodak Black's lawyer reached out the family of Kendrick Ray Castillo, who was shot and killed after lunging at the attacker, on May 11, 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.
In January 2017, Kodak Black 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. Kodak Black's Instagram account hit a record high during the broadcast. 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."
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". Some Twitter users responded negatively, provoking Kodak Black to delete both his Instagram and Twitter accounts. Kodak Black 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.
In April 2019, he garnered controversy when he offered to "wait" to have sexual relations with Lauren London, the girlfriend of late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed a few days beforehand. Kodak Black said he would "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 Black's music. Credible 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 Black. On April 7, Kodak Black responded, saying "If I disrespected you Lauren London in any shape or form, I am sorry. Even though I didn't." He issued a more in-depth apology in 2020 while serving a four-year prison sentence.
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". Kodak Black 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. 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. Kodak Black was not released from jail.
In September 2016, Kodak Black 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.
Kodak Black 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 Kodak Black 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. Kodak Black 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. About Kodak Black, the Miami New Times asked "is he the product of larger societal problems, having been raised on a steady diet of misogynistic rap lyrics?" Within hours of release, he recorded and released "There He Go", 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)
In February 2017, Kodak Black was arrested again for violation of his probation. He was held without bond and his musical tour was postponed.
In April 2017, Kodak Black was indicted by a grand jury in South Carolina, and was scheduled to go on trial in April 2019 in Florence, South Carolina on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. This was later postponed. 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 Kodak Black participate in individual therapy instead of group therapy.
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.
Kodak Black 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. On February 22, 2018, three charges against Kodak Black were dropped and he pleaded not guilty to the remaining two. 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. He was released on August 18, 2018.
While on tour in the Southeast, a South Carolinian Prosecutor announced that Kodak Black 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 Black 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. This was never followed through and Kodak Black is still awaiting trial for the charge.
As of April 5, 2019, a concert promoter filed a lawsuit against Kodak Black for failing to appear at his concerts. Nicholas Fitts—the promoter—claims that Kodak Black 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 Black failed to appear once more. Then on a third makeup date, Kodak Black 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.
While trying to re-enter the United States from Canada on April 17, 2019, Kodak Black was arrested by United States Customs and Border Protection after border authorities found marijuana 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.
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 Black's tour buses parked at the venue. While Kodak Black was not in the vehicle at the time, the FBI found weapons in the vehicle and detained a few of Kodak Black's crew members. Allegedly, the FBI attempted to enter the club in which Kodak Black was performing, but denied entry by the owner. TMZ stated it was "unclear" whether or not the bus was actually owned by Kodak Black. This came a week after his arrest at the U.S.-Canada border. It was stated Kodak Black himself did not get in trouble with law enforcement.
On May 11, 2019, while preparing to perform at Rolling Loud Miami, Kodak Black 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. Kodak Black was charged with two 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 Black'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 Black'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. It was reported by TMZ on November 13, 2019 that Kodak Black had taken a plea bargain and had been sentenced to 46 months in prison, a drastically shorter sentence than the 96 months that the courts had been considering as the rapper had been involved in a fight while incarcerated that involved injury to a prison guard.
On March 11, 2020, Kodak Black plead guilty to a firearms possession case he was charged with after being detained at the Canadian-American border with a Glock. With sentencing set for March 24, the court is considering between 2 and 7 years in prison, which will run concurrently with his 46-month sentencing for lying on federal paperwork.
As of June 2020, Kodak Black is serving his federal sentence at United States Penitentiary, Big Sandy, a high-security prison in Inez, Kentucky. In October 2020, Kodak Black was transferred to United States Penitentiary, Thomson.
On January 19, 2021, President Donald Trump commuted Kodak Black's sentence for his 2020 conviction. Kodak Black still faces charges of criminal sexual assault in Florence, South Carolina, which prosecutors are looking to "aggressively" pursue.
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