Kodak Black Doesn’t Deserve Redemption From Kendrick Lamar

Kodak Black Doesn't Deserve Redemption From Kendrick Lamar

It seemed like everything was going well until it didn’t.

When Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar dropped on Friday, it was meant to be a fitting close to an exciting month for hip-hop albums. In order to avoid competing with K. Dot’s Billboard chart-topping success, every other rap album was arranged in such a way that it came out first.

I was interested to hear who he would work with on this follow-up to his critically acclaimed DAMN album, which was released five years ago. Andre 3000 and J. Cole were expected to make cameos, and some even predicted the inclusion of more up-and-coming artists.

Baby Keem, a signee of his, made an appearance, as did Sampha, Summer Walker, and even Beth Gibbons, of the band Portishead, on the album’s release. In contrast, the one guest act that continues to be talked about is one that didn’t contribute in any significant way whatsoever.

Once again, it’s good to see Kodak Black.

My jaw dropped when I saw the controversial rapper on Lamar’s record. What are we now engaged in?

No, we weren’t expecting anything less poisonous from a man who is still working with Kanye West. For Kendrick to be doing the same thing on an album seems like his most self-reflective venture yet seemed like a mistaken betrayal.

Unknown to many, Kodak Black (also known as Bill Kapri in court) is a criminal.

The 24-year-old rapper is known for his proclivity for getting into legal trouble, but he is perhaps best known for his involvement in cases involving allegations of sexual assault against women.

After being accused of sexually abusing a high school student after a performance in 2016, he made a plea agreement last year and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree assault and battery.

Kodak Black Doesn't Deserve Redemption From Kendrick Lamar

An incident occurred in a Miami strip club on April 15, 2017, where the woman was allegedly punched and kicked by him. Despite the fact that no official charges were brought against him, the incident did lead to his breaking the terms of his probation.

When Kodak isn’t fighting legal battles, it’s continuously spreading sexism. When he posted the video on Instagram in 2017, he made it public for the world to observe his pals enjoying oral sex from a young nude woman.

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He’s never shied away from making sexist statements about women of race, once declaring, “I adore African American ladies, but I simply don’t like my skin color. I think we’re all more sensitive since we’re lighter-skinned ladies… We’re able to dismantle light-skinned ladies with relative ease.”

In addition, despite Kendrick’s affection for the late rapper Nipsey Hustle, he can’t help but recall the backlash that rapper Kodak received after he said, in reference to Nipsey’s grieving girlfriend Lauren London, that “I’ll give her a whole year” before he tried to sleep with her. A year of sobbing and crap for [Nipsey] may be necessary, according to one observer.

Is there any reason Kendrick would include this dude on his most anticipated album of the year?

Kodak Black Doesn't Deserve Redemption From Kendrick Lamar

It’s because he thinks he’s a redeemer, like many others before him, that K. Dot continues the same cycle of apologists.

For starters, neither “Silent Hill” nor his interlude cameo on “Rich” include Kodak performing anything notably distinctive or remarkable – but that’s beside the point.

To understand music as an art form, we must also consider the politics of its curators. A known abuser is featured prominently in Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, despite its efforts to raise awareness of sexual abuse and trauma.

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In the poignant “Mother I Sober,” Kendrick talks of breaking his family’s “generational trauma,” yet he doesn’t appear to see similar sorrow in the culture of the genre he frequently raps about elsewhere on the album.

We can’t pretend that this is the first time we’ve seen this from K. Dot.

Spotify had already banned deceased rapper XXXTentacion because of his history of violence towards women, but Kendrick reportedly tried to persuade them to change their decision using his celebrity clout in 2018.

As far as reports go, Lamar’s team threatened to remove his own songs from the streaming service if they maintained the restriction in place. It’s a crushing disappointment to see him still shilling for problematic males in music four years later.


Kimberly is a freelance writer with a love of writing and traveling. She has been writing for most of her life and has been published in various magazines and online publications. She writes about entertainment, technology, and lifestyle-related topics at Gadgetgrapevine.com. Kimberly is always looking for new writing opportunities and loves learning about new cultures and experiences.

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