After months of anticipation, XXL released their 2016 XXL Freshman Class. The Freshman class is considered the new crop of future hip-hop stars. On the cover is Haitian-American hot new hip-hop artist Kodak Black who always seem to be in some kind of legal trouble.
This year’s Freshmen include Oxnard, California’s Anderson .Paak; Atlanta’s 21 Savage; Pompano Beach, Florida’s Kodak Black; Philadelphia’s Lil Uzi Vert; Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania’s Lil Dicky; Harlem’s Dave East; Carol City, Florida’s Denzel Curry; Brooklyn’s Desiigner; Chicago’s G Herbo and the 10th Spot winner, ATL’s Lil Yachty.
Over the next six weeks, XXL will release an assortment of content from the members of the ninth annual Freshman Class including freestyle, cyphers, solo and group interviews, so that fans can get to know the Freshmen. The actual Freshman issue of XXL magazine will hit stands on Tues., June 28.
Who is Kodak Black?
19-year-old Haitian-American rapper Dieuson Octave was born June 11, 1997 and better known by his stage name Kodak Black. Kodak was born in Pompano Beach, Florida. His parents were immigrants from Haiti and Kodak was raised by his mother in Golden Acres, a public housing project in Pompano Beach.
Kodak started writing raps when he was just a pre-teen in Pompano Beach. Kodak began rapping with his cousins at age 12 while in elementary school. His outsized swagger earned him the affection of the older guys, plus entry to the local studio. He then became affiliated with the local rap group “Brutal Youngnz”, and then with the “Kolyons”.
Although Kodak rapped about what he wanted for himself, he didn’t always believe that his music would get him there. “I felt like, this is not going to work: look where I’m from, I don’t know nobody, I’m too young,” he says. “My dad wasn’t in my life, he couldn’t buy me sh*t. My mom, her money was going straight to the bills. So I was like, f**k it, I got to get my own money. At least if I had money in my pocket, I could get some food when I’m hungry.” – Fader
In 2015, Kodak received a lot of recognition when Canadian rapper Drake posted a video of himself dancing to one of his songs. Kodak has already built a movement solely off his own credentials, with over 50 songs and/or videos with 6-digit hits on YouTube.
Kodak combines the loose, charisma-driven sound of ’90s Dirty South rap with an ability to switch up flows, singing, and rapping, that puts him in a class with today’s versatile hitmakers. His unapologetically youthful personality is immediately likable, but he can also convey a shuddering sense of pain.
Trouble seemed to find Kodak early on. In fifth grade, he got kicked out of school for fighting. He caught his first punishable-by-life charge for carjacking when he was in middle school, and he spent much of his teen years bouncing in and out of juvenile detention centers.
In October 2015, Kodak was arrested in Pompano Beach and charged with robbery, battery, false imprisonment and possession of cannabis. He was released from custody, and shortly after signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Legal woes continue for Kodak he was brought to Broward County jail on May 18 for eight charges including robbery, false imprisonment, marijuana possession and driving without a driver’s license. This, according to the Sheriff’s Office of Broward County. Black committed the offenses last year and was now taken into custody reportedly because of open warrants.