Kodak Black’s New Video is Irresponsible

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Kodak Black’s new video does more harm than good.

I was going to post an album review about Lupe Fiasco’s “Drogas Light”, an album which promises to be thoughtful, interesting and thoroughly listenable. I’m postponing the review so that I can take the weekend to listen to the album carefully; plus I really want to express my derision for Kodak Black’s “Everything 1k” video.

The video stars Danielle Bregoli of “Cash Me Ousside” fame (more on that below). As Kodak Black raps, the 13 year-old (yes, 13!) flashes cash and poses provocatively on the hood of a car. Even without the back story (again, more on that below) it’s hard to watch the video and think that it’s appropriate.

I refused to be a part of the aforementioned meme for weeks until yesterday when I broke down and Googled it. If you are unaware of said meme, I can tell you that it’s dumber than what you’re imagining. Bregoli went on Dr. Phil with her mother who has trouble controlling her 13-year-old daughter. When the audience reacted to Bregoli’s behavior she threatened them by drawling “Catch me outside, how about that?”

In a way the meme is innocuous and silly and not a big deal. In another way though, Bregoli’s fame reinforces the idea that her bad behavior is good because it brings her attention and money. This is not all Bregoli’s fault. In fact it’s mostly not her fault. It’s the fault of her mother, Dr. Phil and lastly (and least of all) Kodak Black.

Her mother should have never brought her on a TV show to fix her behavioral problems and Dr. Phil or his show’s producers or whatever shouldn’t be inviting her back. These two adults ought to know better. Kodak Black is also an adult, albeit a young one. I’m willing to give him some leeway for his participation in perpetuating Bregoli’s fame; there is some merit in Black expressing frustration with parenting when he raps: “Growing up with no father it will make you evil/How you gonna learn to be a man when he ain’t ever teach you.” Black goes on to dedicate the song to “soldiers failed by the system.” The statement is powerful; whether or not it applies to Bregoli directly is debatable (she was raised by her single mother). The trouble is that Black doesn’t appear to be helping Bregoli escape the system with this video. He appears to be glorifying her negative behavior. For that reason he shares the blame for exploiting this teenager for fame and profit.

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