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.”