Kodak Black, Ebro’s Journalistic Integrity & The Erasure Of A Sexual Assault Survivor
Kodak Black is a new age rapper who has some catchy rhymes and some good beats. For most true lovers of hip hop that is where he starts and begins; nothing more, nothing less.
But the 21 year-old is also facing some serious charges, that include the alleged rape of a teenage year-old girl in South Carolina. The rapper, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, was indicted by a grand jury last year stemming from the reported 2016 incident. In the report, the victim claims that she was forced into a room where she was penetrated against her will. Kodak is awaiting a trial date which will take place next April according to SCNow. He could face up to 30 years in prison if he is found guilty.
On Wednesday Kodak appeared as a guest on Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning where an interview proceeded to take place surrounding his latest album, Dying To Live.
So, here we have a rapper facing accusations of sexual misconduct and an on-air radio personality/journalist in the throes of conducting an interview.
But what transpired, as you can expect, was a perfect storm when Kodak decided to walk out of the interview 15 minutes in, after Ebro pressed him over his upcoming trial. You can watch the full interview here.
As you can see in the clip, Kodak was deeply triggered, vowed to walk out and did so after Ebro refused to back down.
Kodak doesn’t have the reputation of being the friendliest interview subject (said rape accusation aside) and it’s really baffling that he still does interviews because he rarely talks or offers anything of substance other than caricaturing himself to create the perfect ingredients for memes and viral clips.
Last year during an interview on The Breakfast Club, Black sported a full face mask with a gold grill while also refusing to answer a group of the interviewer’s questions in the beginning of the interview.
But let’s get back to the matter at hand. As the clip of Kodak walking out of Ebro’s interview went viral, the internet was split in half between whether Ebro set up the whole scenario for personal gain.
And while those are legitimate things to ponder because we all know in the digital age, the name of the game is to live off clicks and sometimes you have to resort to clickbait.
But Ebro wasn’t out of line for commenting on the alleged charges. Anyone who has studied or watched an interview between a controversial entertainer knows asking difficult questions is par for the course. If a court order blocks Black from speaking about the subject matter that’s all he really had to say. The rape case is public knowledge so it wasn’t like Ebro was exposing anything new. But to walk out because you don’t like the line of questioning is bizarre and actually does nothing to help deflate the negative public perception you have due to the troubling allegations.
There were also apologists who thought it important to dismiss the fact that Kodak is facing a very serious charge and could possibly go to jail for sexually violating a teenage victim who said she was violated against her will.
It begs the question as to why it’s so hard to believe the victim and why we continuously question their integrity, instead of said abuser. These are the people who need to be permanently muted. These are the people who make victims of abuse disappear into the corners of trauma because it’s a safer space to hide in the deep, dark, abyss than to not be believed.
To completely ignore the fact that the young woman’s life will never be the same and instead make excuses for the behavior that led to the loss of her innocence is deeply troubling. A teenage girl was raped and all anyone can think about is how Kodak stormed out of an interview.
Let’s recenter this conversation around her. Let’s ask ourselves: Where do our priorities really lie?