Kodak Black was arrested at the end of February for violating his parole and is currently being held in Broward County Jail. He had previously been released on bail in December from being held in South Carolina where he is still facing sexual battery charges.
|Courtesy of Atlantic Records|
Kodak Black's 'Painting Pictures' Album & 'Project Baby' Documentary Show a Rap Star Hungry to Win
On Thursday night (March 30), a batch of music journalists and tastemakers swarmed Landmark Sunshine Cinema in downtown New York City to listen to burgeoning rap star Kodak Black's debut album Painting Pictures several hours before its official release.
Despite his absence (he is currently incarcerated for violating his probation in February), the label seamlessly transformed the movie theater into Black's personal playpen. At the entrance, an animated poster of the Florida rapper greeted those who were eager to listen to his latest offering. On the second floor at the concession stands was a sign that showed his loaded track-list; rap heavyweights Future, Jeezy, Young Thug, and Bun B appear as featured guests. As fans journeyed onto the third floor, bottles of Belaire and Hennessey were flowing in Styrofoam cups bearing Black's semblance.
By 7:45 p.m., Black and WorldStarHipHop's Project Baby debuted, honing in on the rise of rap's most polarizing newcomer. Viewers encountered a younger version of Black, as his freestyle over Wale's "Ambition" blared through the speakers. Hungry to cement his name in rap, Black delivered blistering bars over the MMG signee's track, which later propelled him to higher heights in Florida's rap scene.
"Black was a project baby," recalled Polo Pooh, a close friend of the young Pompano Beach-bred phenom. Often embroiled in skirmishes and legal mishaps, Black revealed that he was "gifted," but trapped in a rough environment. "I was bad, but I was smart," he said.
The documentary also featured footage of Black working with Future on a song titled "Conscience." With his vocals soaked in Auto-Tune, Future compares himself to James Harden while acknowledging how "all my n----s got love for me." (Black is also slated to be an opener for the Atlanta hitmaker's forthcoming Nobody Safe tour.)
Packed with bangers including his fiery Billboard Hot 100 hit "Tunnel Vision," Painting Pictures puts Black's best foot forward despite his current circumstances. Tracks like his radio-friendly tune "Patty Cake" and "Save Me" will have the ladies thirsting for more from the 19-year-old spitter. On the former, Black raps about "sipping Belaire with my girl from Bel Air," while on the latter, he vows to protect his damsel in distress from any harm.
Black's most touching record, perhaps, is his intro "Day for Day," where he somberly raps about his turbulent life pre-hip-hop and vows to put on for his 'hood. He offers, "Neighborhood hero, I know I'm gonna save the day."
WATCH KODAK BLACK’S ‘PROJECT BABY’ DOCUMENTARY
Hot off the release of his debut album Painting Pictures, Kodak Black unleashes Project Baby, a 24-minute documentary about his life.
Throughout several interviews, Kodak discusses misconceptions about his intellect and details his early years. “Some people be thinking I’m dumb and shit,” he says. “They just look at me and just already discriminate and stereotype, but when I was in elementary school, I used to go to this little camp. We used to do spelling bees and I used to beat high schoolers in spelling bees. I ain’t even know how I was spelling them words but I just always knew I was gifted, but I was bad. I was bad, but I was smart.”
Those “bad” tendencies crept up as Kodak grew up in housing projects in Pompano Beach, Florida, exasperated, he says, by his family’s financial hardships. “Climbing up them cabinets, ain’t no honey buns in the cabinet,” he says. “Everybody fresh in school and you ain’t really fresh. So a ni**a like, ‘Fuck that.’ The only time I’m really coming to school is when I done hit me a lick and I got new clothes on.”
Hitting licks eventually led to Kodak’s first time in handcuffs. “My first time getting arrested, I did 21 days,” he explains. “A real deal burglary. It wasn’t just no little petty shit. When I was in the back of the police car, I was just ready for it, for whatever…Before I got locked up, I already hit a couple houses and shit. It wasn’t my first time hitting a house. I was expecting that shit to happen one day. I can’t keep getting away like this here all the time.”
In one of his interviews, Kodak also explains why he didn’t mind robbing other people after his mom was robbed by someone else. “One time, somebody had robbed her for her tax money and shit,” he says. “That’s why when I say on the song ‘Signs’: ‘My momma got robbed in July / I watched her cry / So I don’t care about yours ’cause they ain’t care about mine.” Lil’ shit like that. So then, it was like, ‘Fuck everybody’s momma, I’m snatching your momma’s chain.'”
Although he’s currently in jail for a probation violation, Kodak has also been focused on his music. He says it’s a way for him to explain what he’s been through. “I don’t sugarcoat,” he explains. “I talk about the struggle. I talk about how I got it now. I talk about what I did as a kid. I talk about everything. Even if you ain’t been through that shit, when you listening to my shit, you’re gonna feel like you’ve been through it. It’s like a movie. I feel like you’re in this movie right now. I don’t rap. I illustrate. Everything I say is like you see it vividly.”