While the rap world knows him as Kodak Black, the teenage rap sensation was born as Dieuson Octave in 1997. His meteoric rise from the mean streets of Florida to the forefront of the hip hop world has been remarkable.
Octave grew up in Pompano Beach, Florida, as the child of Haitian immigrants. His mother raised him in a public housing project and he was given the nickname “Black” or “Lil Black” at the tender age of six. When he created his first Instagram page, this is when Kodak Black moniker was created.
He began to write raps at a very young age. Spending his days at the studio in the small town he was raised in. Here he was able to garner attention from the older artists in the crew. He was known for his preternatural swagger and ability to write raps about grown men topics.
Growing up without a father shaped Kodak’s entire outlook. He watched his single mother struggle to support him and pay all of the family’s bills. As a result, he took to the streets in search of his own money and began to get into trouble with the law almost immediately.
Most young men spend 5th grade trying to get the attention of their first crush. Kodak found himself expelled from school after getting into a fistfight. From there, he received his first serious charge when he was caught carjacking. This was during enrollment in middle school. Therefore he was sent to a juvenile detention as a result. There he would spend a significant portion of his formative years.
Kodak would begin to find his way through the use of his rap talents, joining a local rap group named Brutal Yungenz at the age of 12. There he rapped under the name J-Black. He patterned his rap style after popular Baton Rouge rhymer Lil Boosie. He also developed a later affiliation with another local rap outfit known as the Kolyons.
However, Kodak’s rapping career did not deter him from the street life and he has found that it is more difficult to escape your past than you may expect. While he was on his way to a New York City music festival known as CMJ, he was pulled over and arrested on a warrant for a wide range of existing charges, including kidnapping, assault and robbery.
Kodak first became known to rap fans who hail from outside the Pompano Beach area in 2014, as his second mixtape Heart of the Projects struck a chord with audiences everywhere, thanks to the viral smash hits “No Flockin” and “SKRT”. The latter even caught the attention of rap heartthrob Drake. Drake posted a video on his Instagram of himself dancing to the melancholy breakup anthem.
For Kodak’s part, he has been reticent to accept the newfound attention that he has been given by some of the game’s biggest stars. He is claiming that Drake did not make him who he is today. And that if he really wanted to show love to the young Florida upstart, he would showcase his talents on one of his own albums.
He would eventually receive his own recording contract with Atlantic Records. As Resulted of the buzz he built off of the release of Heart of the Projects and his previous mixtape, Project Baby. The teenager’s music showcases a maturity that belies his age, as his choice in production trends towards the bluesy styling that artists like Boosie tend to favor and his lyrics traffic in reality, as opposed to the materialism of his peers.
Work Ethic And Controversies
Once Kodak made a name for himself, he did not let up for one second. Therefore he was crafting a 24 track follow up to Heart of the Projects called Institution. Released at the end of 2015, the project spawned a massive smash hit in “Like Dat”. The video has received over 40 million YouTube views to date.
2016 was a year of ups and downs for the young rhymer, as he released another mixtape entitled Lil B.I.G. Pac and declared that he was superior to slain rap giants Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., which caused quite a stir on social media.
Kodak received the coveted honor of being blessed with one of Gucci Mane’s first verses upon his return home from a Terre Haute federal prison on the Lil B.I.G. Pac hit “Vibin In This Bih” and expanded his profile even further with a scene stealing guest appearance on the French Montana smash hit “Lockjaw”, which gave him added notoriety in the New York City neighborhoods that have embraced the South Bronx rapper.
He received a much needed second chance from the Florida legal system. The judge believed that his career had too much potential to be sidetracked by a lengthy prison stint. Luckily for Kodak since he faced multiple charges and serious jail time. He was given the opportunity to remain free and serve his time on house arrest.
Kodak Black’s Future
Kodak faces an additional charge in South Carolina, but continues to make an even bigger name for himself. The song “Tunnel Vision” and “There He Go” are already poised to become two of the biggest smashes of 2017. It remains to be seen whether the young, budding superstar can stay on the straight and narrow going forward. He definitely is poised to become one of the biggest names in the rap world.
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