MIAMI – Fans of Bill K. Kapri, better known as rapper Kodak Black, expected President Donald Trump to grant him clemency before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. The White House announced Trump granted a commutation of the rapper’s sentence.
The South Florida rapper’s commutation had the support of “numerous religious leaders” including Rev. Darrell Scott and Rabbi Schneur Kaplan, of Fort Lauderdale, according to the White House. Other supporters include Bernie Kerik, Hunter Pollack, Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Jack Brewer, and “numerous other notable community leaders.”
The 23-year-old Broward County rapper was born Dieuson Octave. His Haitian-American mother, Marcelene Octave, raised him in Pompano Beach where he attended Blanche Ely High School. The White House also recognized the rapper’s philanthropic efforts to benefit children in need and struggling restaurants in Broward.
Trump’s clemency applied to the federal charges and it didn’t erase the conviction.
Last year, the rapper pleaded guilty to a weapons charge after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found a gun in his Cadillac Escalade. He was crossing from Canada to the U.S. in April.
In 2019, he was sentenced to 46 months in prison on federal weapons charges after lying on background-check forms to buy firearms in Miami.
The Broward County rapper also faces a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge after he was accused of raping a teenage girl in 2016 in Florence, South Carolina.
In 2015, he was arrested in Pompano Beach on charges of robbery, battery, two counts of false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age, three counts of false imprisonment of an adult, driving with a suspended license, and possession of marijuana.
He was arrested twice in Broward County in 2016. The April 2016 arrest was for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and fleeing from law enforcement. The August arrest was for armed robbery and false imprisonment.
Octave was sentenced to house arrest, anger management classes, community service, and five years of probation. While in custody, authorities learned he had a pending warrant in South Carolina for the criminal sexual conduct charge and in St. Lucie County for marijuana possession.
In 2018, he was arrested on a probation violation charge after he was accused of leaving his house to go to a strip club. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, but after participating in an early-release program, he walked out of jail on house arrest.
The rapper is part of the SoundCloud generation. He has released three studio albums: “Painting Pictures” in 2017, “Dying to Live” in 2018, and “Bill Israel” in 2020. His mixtapes include “Project Baby” in 2013, “Heart of the Projects” in 2014, “Institution” in 2015, “F.E.M.A.” in 2017, and “Heart Break Kodak” in 2018.