Atlantic Records press photo of Kodak Black from 2017.
June 11, 1997 |
Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
Dieuson Octave (born June 11, 1997), better known by his stage name Kodak Black, is an American rapper. He is noted for his singles "No Flockin" and "Tunnel Vision", as well as his numerous legal issues.
Dieuson Octave was born on June 11, 1997 in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he was also raised. His mother, Marcelene Octave and his father were emigrants from Haiti. Octave was raised by his mother in Golden Acres, a public housing project in Pompano Beach.
Octave started rapping in elementary school and began to go to a local trap house after school to record music. Octave spent his youth reading thesauruses and dictionaries to further his vocabulary. Octave used to get in a lot of trouble which included him participating in multiple brawls and breaking and entering frequently with his friends. Octave was kicked out of school in the fifth grade for fighting and caught his first punishable-by-life charge when he was in middle-school for Grand Theft Auto. Talking about his upbringing, Octave said that he was given two options "sell drugs with a gun on his hip or rap"
From the age of six, Octave used the nickname "Black". He also used the nickname "Lil' Black". When he joined Instagram he chose the username "Kodak Black". 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 Octave's songs, "Skrt", which helped Octave gain popularity despite objections from other rappers such as Earl Sweatshirt. That same month, Octave signed a deal with Atlantic Records. In May 2016, Octave and rapper and label-mate Lil Uzi Vert announced their intention to partner for a national tour called the "Parental Advisory Tour", however, Octave did not appear on the tour.
In May 2016, Octave was featured on French Montana's single "Lockjaw", from French Montana's twenty first mixtape MC4, which reached a peak position of 23 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In August 2016, Octave'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, Octave 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-while in jail-Octave released the song "Can I".
On February 17, 2017, Octave 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, Octave 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 Octave. While discussing rappers and fellow 2016 XXL Freshmen, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, Octave 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. Octave released the follow-up to Project Baby with Project Baby 2 on 18 August 2017.
The New Yorker described his "manifestly youthful voice" and "mutinous sound", and stated "Octave joins other young rappers who have rejected an old-school emphasis on lyrical variety, individualism, and personal catharsis".
In 2016, The Fader wrote that Octave "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 time in prison, Octave began to identify as a Hebrew Israelite after a priest who conducts prison ministry studied scripture with him. Octave later filed to change his name to Bill Kahan Blanco, with Kahan meaning "priest" in Hebrew.
Octave has been a figure of controversy mainly due to his interactions on social media and his legal issues.
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, Kodak Black wrote on Instagram about his preference for light-skinned women over those with dark skin. This started when Octave was asked about actress Keke Palmer which Octave 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 Octave to delete both his Instagram and Twitter accounts. Octave said following that light-skinned women are easier to break down, black women are "too gutter" and that he doesn't like his skin complexion. Amber Rose responded to the comments several days following saying they made her "so sad".
Controversy arose in August 2017 when Octave accused Master P of attempting to make money off mentoring Octave. Master P had been giving Octave guidance since July after Octave had publicly expressed he wanted Master P to talk to him during an interview with The Breakfast Club. Master P replied saying that he was actually the one who gave money to Octave through flight expenses and other general matters such as events and food. Master P stated that he met Octave through Charlamagne and then went on to mention Octave's lawyer, Theo Sedlmayr, who has represented Eminem, Drake, Mobb Deep and 50 Cent. Master P said that Octave didn't know how much he was paying Sedlmayr.
In April 2016, Octave was arrested in Hallandale Beach, Florida and charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of cannabis, and fleeing from officers. The following month, Octave was arrested in Broward County, Florida and charged with armed robbery and false imprisonment. He was detained in custody.
In August 2016, Octave appeared in court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Several executives from Atlantic Records attended the court; vice-president Michael Kushner commenting "Black has a bright future as a recording artist". Octave 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 cannabis possession. Octave was not released from jail.
In September 2016, Octave 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.
Octave 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 Octave at "Treasure City" in Florence, after which she accompanied the singer 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. Octave 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 Octave, 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, Octave was arrested again for violation of his probation. He was held without bond and his musical tour was postponed.
In April 2017, Octave 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, Octave appeared in court in Florida, where his anger management counselor Ramona Sanchez spoke about Octave 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, Octave grabbed her phone and her wrist. The counselor recommended that Octave participate in individual therapy instead of group therapy.
On May 4, 2017, Octave 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.
Octave was arrested in Pembroke Pines, Florida in January 2018 on multiple charges stemming from a live-feed video showing him passing marijuana and a gun around a baby. He faced seven felony charges including child neglect, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and marijuana possession.