Kodak Black is receiving backlash for his recent birthday celebration.
The rapper, who turned 24 on Friday, June 11, took to Instagram to share behind-the-scenes photos of his party. However, his festivities didn’t sit well with his followers.
Per his images, the “Gleerious” musician appeared to celebrate his birthday with a Kobe Bryant theme. For one, he wore a Los Angeles Lakers jersey with the late athlete’s name and number displayed on the back. Moreover, Kodak posed between a purple and gold Tesla Model X and a matching-colored helicopter.
“I’m Ouchea 24 a Day I’m Like KOBE #KtB @kobebryant #HappyBirthdayKodak Out Now,” the 24-year-old star captioned his post on Monday, June 21.
It didn’t take long for Kodak’s fans to point out the Kobe-inspired helicopter, especially considering the basketball legend tragically died in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and several others, in January 2020.
“nahh bro not the helicopter…,” one user wrote, with someone else responding, “No one else think the helicopter is just a little disrespectful.”
Another person replied, “So nobody on ya team advised you not to do the helicopter?”
Although Kodak has yet to publicly comment on the backlash over his Kobe theme, he previously opened up about why he chose to honor the late star for his birthday.
“I want to send all my love to the Bryant family,” he said in a 4-minute video clip that he posted on June 14. “I feel so connected to Kobe’s unfortunate demise. When I was in prison, I was planning on coming home in a helicopter, but [on] January 26, when I found out about what happened, I took it as a sign not to due to the fact that we share the same initials…Today I celebrate your life, your legacy.”
In another clip, Kodak, whose real name is Bill K. Kapri, released purple and gold balloons in the air, writing, “Fly High KOBE. We Love You @kobebryant.”
The rapper isn’t the only one in recent weeks to honor Kobe. Just last weekend, Vanessa Bryant celebrated her late husband with a heartwarming Father’s Day message.
“To the best girl dad. Happy Father’s Day, Papi,” she shared on Sunday, June 20. “We love you forever and always, always and forever. Love you always, Nani, Gigi, B.B, Koko and VB.”
Following Kobe’s untimely death, he’s received numerous accolades and heartfelt tributes. Most recently, he was posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in May.
“Congratulations, baby,” Vanessa said in part, accepting the prestigious award on his behalf. “All of your hard work and sacrifices paid off. You once told me, ‘If you are going to bet on someone, bet on yourself.’ I’m glad you bet on yourself, your overachiever. You did it. You’re in the hall of fame now. You’re a true champ. You’re not just an MVP. You’re an all-time great. I’m so proud of you. I love you forever and always.”