Atlantic Records press photo of Kodak Black from 2017.
June 11, 1997|
Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
Bill K. Kapri (born Dieuson Octave; June 11, 1997) is an American rapper better known by his stage name Kodak Black. He is noted for his singles "Roll in Peace", "Tunnel Vision", and "No Flockin", as well as his numerous legal issues.
Kapri was born Dieuson Octave on June 11, 1997 in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he was also raised. His parents were migrants from Haiti. 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. Kodak Black 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.
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.
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.
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 Octave'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 wasn't bothered by the insult and that he still "fucked with" Kodak Black. He released the follow-up to Project Baby with Project Baby 2 on August 18, 2017. In November 2017, Kodak Black released a deluxe version of Project Baby 2, "Project Baby 2: All Grown Up". The single from the deluxe version, "Codeine Dreaming", peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The New Yorker described his "manifestly youthful voice" and "mutinous sound", and stated "Kodak Black 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 meaning "priest" in Hebrew. On May 2, 2018, he legally changed his name from Dieuson Octave to Bill K. Kapri.
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'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. This started when he was asked about actress Keke Palmer which Kodak Black replied "Keke Palmer, she straight, I'd bag her, but I don't really like black girls like that, sorta kinda." Users on the social media platform Twitter then began to respond negatively, provoking Kodak Black to delete both his Instagram and Twitter accounts. Kodak Black said following that light-skinned women are easier to break down, black women are "too gutter" and that he doesn't like his own skin complexion. Amber Rose responded to the comments several days following saying they made her "so sad".
In April 2016, Kodak Black was arrested in Hallandale Beach, Florida and charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and fleeing from officers. The following month, he was arrested in Broward County, Florida and charged with armed robbery and false imprisonment. He was detained in custody.
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 handgun)
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, he was indicted by a grand jury in South Carolina, and must stand trial there on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. 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 will 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.