Bill Kahan Kapri (born Dieuson Octave; June 11, 1997), known professionally as 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.
For nearly a decade now, Kodak Black has navigated the rap game with no shortage of highs and lows. Still, the post-incarceration wins of “Super Gremlin” and the 2022 album Back for Everything put the controversial yet exceedingly popular Florida rapper back in a position of prominence. So, for Pistolz & Pearlz, an apparent finale for his longtime major-label home base of Atlantic Records, he delivers a characteristically strong effort that speaks to his past as much as his future. He shrewdly frontloads the project with features from Sniper Gang associates like GorditoFlo and Vvsnce, giving some deserved shine to the artists currently riding with him. But after the booming trio cut “Dirt McGerk,” with EST Gee & Lil Crix, he largely places the focus back on himself for the duration. Whether expressing an ice-cold worldview on “Murder Mystery” or sing-rapping about loyalty and love on “Follow Me,” his consistency stays undeniably on display. On the piano-led trap ballad “No Love for a Thug,” an album highlight, he opens up about loneliness and feeling emotionally adrift in ways rarely heard in hip-hop.