Kodak Black (born Dieuson Octave) has seen his profile skyrocket the last year and a half. His songs, which range from catchy pop rap to gritty street anthems, have been getting radio play around the country. Having just recently turned 19, the possibilities are seemingly endless for the South Florida native. However not all is sunshine and rainbows in Black’s camp, as he’s currently in jail for a multitude of charges, including robbery, marijuana possession and driving without a license. Lil Big Pac, his new mixtape released while incarcerated, has Black keeping the momentum on his side, churning out bangers while also keeping it real and introspective.
The first track, “Everything 1K,” has Black speaking to his fellow project babies, advising them that it’s not worth throwing it all away. “I’m in a jail taking cold baths/I went down the wrong path/Lil boy don’t go that way/You prolly won’t last,” he says, referencing to his current stint in jail. Black (like so many others stuck in the hood) grew up without a father, so while his music can no doubt be enjoyed by anybody and everybody, it’s those who most relate to his upbringing and circumstances that can appreciate it the most. His reflectiveness doesn’t end with the intro track. On “Too Many Years,” he continues the jail theme, claiming he’s wasted too much time locked up. On “Letter,” we find Black at his most creative, partially rappng out a letter his friend sent him while the former was locked up. “This sh*t a lesson for you breh, you better pay attention/When you get out, Kodak, stay focused and keep spittin’.”
While Black can certainly look within, he can also produce bangers with the best of them. “Vibin in This Bih” is a sizzling, fast-paced cut featuring fresh-out-of jail Gucci Mane. 4th track “Slayed” has Black enlist probably his most comparable colleague, Baton Rouge’s own Boosie Badazz. The two go bar-for bar, flexing their success and spitting about the hustle of the rap game. “I’m on that wreckless sh*t, that selfish sh*t, I’m playin for keeps/Money hungry, I can’t smell a b*tch, I gotta eat,” Black says. “Cocaine under my nails, working this triple beam/No fingerprints on my shells, too sticky from the lean,” Boosie responds.
“Gave It All I Got” is the epitome of what Black is about. He touches on subjects such as weeding out the snakes from your circle and staying on the grind. “Went on a little lil mission by myself, only me/N*ggas tryna intervene, come between a n*gga dream,” he attests. The beat features echoey horns before erupting into a bass-and snare drop that will blow your speakers out halfway into the first verse, where, you guessed it, Black continues to keep it real. “N*gga whats the point of doing it if you ain’t gon do that sh*t for real?” It’s an inspiring line that is sure to hit home to his mainly African American audience trapped in the hood, giving them hope that if Black can make it out, so can they.
The cover of Lil Big Pac is similar to legendary MC The Notorious B.I.G.’S debut album Ready To Die, however Black photoshopped out the head of the iconic baby and replaced it with his own. A bold statement, considering he tweeted out in April that he’s better than Biggie (and Tupac, hence the title of the tape). Whether he was exaggerating or not, there’s no denying that he has the potential to be a legend in the making. If what he says on Lil Big Pac is true and he’s all about staying focused on his career after he gets out of jail, then the rap game is his for the taking.