The Florida rapper Kodak Black was sentenced on Wednesday to 46 months in prison on federal weapons charges, though he faced up to 10 years. Prosecutors in Miami had asked for a sentence of 46 to 57 months, while Black’s lawyers had requested less, pointing to his guilty plea in August and his history of charitable work.
Black, 22, whose legal name is Bill Kapri (though he was born Dieuson Octave), had admitted to lying on background check forms while buying multiple firearms in two different incidents earlier this year. Prosecutors said two of the guns were later found by the police at crime scenes, including one — with Black’s fingerprints and a live round in the chamber — that had been used to fire at a “rival rap artist.” Black has not been charged in the shooting.
Another weapon was discovered in the trunk of a car as the rapper and his team attempted to cross the Canadian border into upstate New York in April. Black was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a firearm.
Lawyers for Black did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
In court, Black apologized and told the judge, “I do take full responsibility for my mishap,” The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
United States District Judge Federico Moreno told the rapper: “Young people do stupid things. But the problem is that you’ve been doing stupid things since you were 15.”
The Grammy-nominated rapper’s prison sentence was yet another legal roadblock in a series of them that have stalled a promising career. In late 2018, Black’s second major-label album, “Dying to Live,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, with its hit single “Zeze” peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100. But he has repeatedly faced drug, weapons and robbery charges, and was arrested in 2018 for violating the terms of his probation and sentenced to 364 days with credit for time served.
Black has also remained under indictment on charges of criminal sexual conduct in South Carolina from 2016, though he was released on bond and his trial has been repeatedly delayed. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in that case.
The sexual assault charge came up in a background check of Black when he attempted to buy guns in Florida in March. Customers are asked if they are currently under indictment for a felony or have been convicted of one in the past. Previously, in January, Black had transposed two digits of his social security number, allowing him to purchase three guns, but upon his second visit to the same store, he was found to be untruthful on the forms and denied a fourth firearm.
Black was arrested in May as he attempted to take the stage at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami.
In a court filing calling for leniency in sentencing this month, Black’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen, said that the rapper had attempted to purchase the weapons in self-defense and called the charge a “crime of deception, rather than a crime of possession.” Black, he added, had grown up in “one of the poorest and most disenfranchised neighborhoods” in Florida, and “became of a victim and product of his environment.”