A self-proclaimed project baby from Pompano Beach’s Golden Acres – the only government-subsidized housing left standing in Broward County – Kodak Black, né Dieuson Octave, emerged an enigmatic figure out of a slum dog opera. At 14, he was waxing searing poetics over Wale’s “Ambition,” a track that saw him recount his days “by the dead end,” having been raised the proverbial hustler in and out of the trap—sans the champagne, smoke machines and simulated rain.
After dropping a slew of mixtapes, which garnered him considerable buzz beyond the borders of South Florida, Kodak Black delivered his full-length debut Painting Pictures, albeit from behind prison walls. The LP was released along with Black’s Project Baby documentary, which was screened in New York’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Thursday evening (March 30).
The WorldStarHipHop original is a short, yet densely crafted piece of cinematography that follows the Haitian rapper as he delves into the crux of his proper introduction to the game. “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 sh*t—when [you’re] listening to my sh*t, you’re [going to] feel like you’ve been through it. It’s like a movie. I feel like you’re in this movie right now,” he says in the company of kinfolk inside his mother’s home. “I don’t rap, I illustrate. Everything I say you see it vividly.”
Some of Kodak’s closest comrades from the neighborhood also appear in the short, more as thorough witnesses than chummy yes-men, a testament to the 19-year-old’s real-life narrative—even at the expense of his greatest truth being called trite or banal. Before the visual reaches its denouement, we see a side of Kodak not readily available on wax or seen in headlines—a more charming, humorous and endearing fellow whose idea of love and loyalty is cobbled into an acronym. “Am I your B.A.E.?” he quips tenderly over the phone to an anonymous woman. “Am I before anybody else?”
Stream Painting Pictures below:
Kodak’s representatives disclosed to VIBE that the rapper may or may not be released from jail on Friday (March 31).