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 No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and included the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single "Tunnel Vision". Black's second album, Dying to Live (2018), peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was supported by the single "Zeze" (featuring Travis Scott and Offset), which peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100.
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. Black was accused of rape in 2016 and faced the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in South Carolina. He was given a plea bargain in 2021 to the lesser offense of assault and battery and was sentenced to probation. In 2019, Black was arrested for making false statements to possess weapons and was sentenced to almost four years in federal prison; his sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump in 2021. While incarcerated, he released his third studio album, Bill Israel (2020). His fourth studio album, Back for Everything followed in 2022, and contains the hit single "Super Gremlin" as a bonus track.
Kodak Black was born Dieuson Octave on June 11, 1997, in Pompano Beach, Florida, the son of Haitian immigrant Marcelene Octave. He later legally changed his name to Bill Kahan 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 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 June 2016, Kodak Black was named one of XXL magazine's "2016 Freshman Class".
In August 2016, Kodak Black was criticized when a studio session video was released showing him ridiculing dark-skinned black women with lyrics that 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.
2018–2020: Heart Break Kodak, Dying to Live, and Bill Israel
In January 2018, Kodak Black was arrested following a raid on his Florida home. Kodak Black later released the Heart Break Kodak mixtape on Valentine's Day.
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 "If I'm Lyin, I'm Flyin", "Take One" and "Calling My Spirit". The album also featured rapper Lil Pump on "Gnarly", rapper Juice WRLD on "MoshPit", and paid tribute to deceased 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.
2020–present: Prison release, Haitian Boy Kodak, Back for Everything and Kutthroat Bill: Vol. 1
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 a music video.
Kodak released a mixtape titled Haitian Boy Kodak on May 14, 2021. The project's cover art pays tribute to his Haitian pride. Kodak voiced frustration at the mixtape only moving 22, 000 units in its first week, claiming that listeners had turned their backs on gangsta rap. Kodak released his next project, Happy Birthday Kodak, on June 11, 2021, his twenty-fourth birthday. On November 1, 2021, Kodak released a music video for the song "Super Gremlin", from Syko Bob and Snapkatt's Halloween-themed mixtape, Sniper Gang Presents Syko Bob & Snapkatt: Nightmare Babies, an 11-track project, of which Kodak appears on eight tracks. "Super Gremlin" became a hit, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also included on Kodak's fourth studio album Back for Everything, which released on February 25, 2022. The project proceeded to peak at number 2 on the Billboard 200.
Months later, following the release of his viral singles "Walk/Spin", Kodak announced his departure from Atlantic Records and that he would sign to Capitol Records for an eight-figure record deal. Kodak's final project with Atlantic, Kutthroat Bill: Vol. 1 was released on October 28, 2022. The mixtape proceeded to peak at number 8 on the Billboard 200.