Kodak Black

Emerging from the Florida rap scene with his gritty rhymes and swampy trap beats, Kodak Black was praised for rejuvenating the spirit of 1990s 'Dirty South' hip-hop and, despite his career being marred by numerous prison sentences and legal troubles, he went on to top the US charts with his album Dying to Live in 2018. Raised in the housing projects of Pompano Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale, Dieuson Octave (June 11, 1997) started freestyle rapping at 12-years-old with some older neighborhood friends and was gradually drawn into their crime-fuelled lifestyle. He was also part of local rap collectives Brutal Youngnz and The Kolyons and later changed his nickname from J-Black to Kodak Black, but found himself serving regular spells in juvenile detention centers and facing serious charges for robbery. His talent had been spotted by record label Dollaz N Dealz Entertainment and, after their lawyers negotiated his probation, they released Kodak Black's first mixtape Project Baby in 2013 when he was just 16. Underground tracks "Ambition" and "5 on It" told gritty tales of ghetto life, but it was his melodic, slow-strutting flow on "No Flockin'" that became his first big hit and was later sampled by Cardi B on her number one single "Bodak Yellow." His profile was also boosted when Drake posted a video dancing along to Kodak's track "Skrt," and he landed a major deal with Atlantic Records before teaming up with French Montana on club anthem "Lockjaw," landing his first big mainstream hit later when his single "Tunnel Vision" shot into the US Top 10. Despite Kodak spending much of 2017 under house arrest, his debut album Painting Pictures reached Number 3 on the US charts and confirmed his position as one of the hottest young rap stars around, while his next mixtape Project Baby 2 included popular collaborations with XXXTentacion and Offset. He also tried his hand at romantic R&B slow jams on his Valentine's Day release "Heart Break Kodak," legally changing his name to Bill K. Kapri after serving another four months in prison, before enjoying his biggest success when his album Dying to Live (2018) shot straight to Number 1 and produced the hit single "Zeze" with Travis Scott & Offset. Bill Israel, his third studio full-length, appeared in 2020 while the rapper was still serving a prison sentence. Following his release from jail in 2021, Kodak Black returned in full force with the mixtape Haitian Boy Kodak and an EP titled Happy Birthday Kodak, followed by his chart-topping fourth album Back for Everything in 2022.

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