Hip hop has always provided an escape option for those young, talented and trapped in “the hood.” But what happens when you’ve spent most of your life running from poverty on the illegal side of the tracks and then face this fork in the road: stick with the illegal money making or gamble on your talent? 18-year-old Floridian rapper Kodak Black faces this exact dilemma today. Raised by the unforgiving streets in and around his Pompano Beach housing projects, the son of separated Haitian immigrants made his way the only way he knew how: as a criminal. Throughout his wonder years, Kodak spent more time inside juvenile detentions than classrooms. But his active hours inside the recording booth garnered him a local name as a young beast with the bars.
The Orange State MC’s two mixtapes, Project Baby and Heart of the Projects kept him buzzing for the past few years, but when Drake co-signed him last fall (first by posting footage of him dancing to Kodak’s song “SKRT” and then placing it into OVO Radio rotation), Kodak’s profile shot north. Today there isn’t a major performance club in the state of Florida whose stage the project baby hasn’t touched. A week before 2016 rode in, he dropped his third mixtape, Institution, to love that spread beyond Florida. Atlantic Records is currently front running a small bidding war for him. The problem is that the fork in the road still exists for Kodak Black. He’s currently on probation for an armed kidnapping and assault charge and proclaims he won’t leave the streets until his rap dream looks real.
PRELUDE flew down to Florida to witness Kodak Black live on stage and then headed to the projects he grew up in for a peek inside his young but intense upbringing. What they discovered was a man child (or boss boy depending on the hour of the day) who has the potential to be the next Lil Boosie or Lil Zeke. Bless the child that has his own mind to make up.
Watch the full episode below.
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