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GRAMMY PREVIEW: DABABY
9/25/19

SWAGGER WITH A SMILE

Hip-hop’s newest heavyweight, DaBaby, has become the standout streamer this year follow-ing the release of his Interscope debut, Baby on Baby. Double-platinum lead single “Suge” topped Rhythmic radio in July, and the song’s ruckus-raising video is approaching 150 million views on YouTube. Beyond his beaming smile and compelling visuals, DaBaby boasts a distinctive baritone and flow to match.

The 27-year-old from Charlotte has become the hottest commodity in hip-hop. Among the artists who’ve sought out DaBaby for a feature are Lizzo, Post Malone, Lil Baby, J. Cole and Chance the Rapper. These and other tracks featuring the rapper have dominated Apple Music, while his album has cracked the Top 25 year-to-date.

On top of having one of the most recognizable voices in rap, DaBaby has weaponized his social-media activity by relentlessly posting candid behind-the-scenes videos. Whether he’s playing a festival in Germany, doing a press run in the U.K. or working in the studio, DaBaby has made a point of sharing these visual summaries of his frequently provocative exploits, taking fans along for the ride.

As Grammy buzz builds around him, and with his fresh new mixtape, Kirk, slated to drop very soon, it’s no wonder the year’s most in-demand rapper can’t stop smiling.


How long have you been in the rap game?
Five years; five short-ass years.

From A-list features to streaming dominance, 2019 has been a break-out year for you. Why do you think fans love DaBaby?
If they love me now, wait until they see what I do next. Don’t congratulate me yet—make me earn it.

Your videos are so raw and creative; what inspires you to provide fans with so much content?
Thank you. I just be myself. All I know is be myself and bring something different to the game. I like to push the envelope with every visual.

How do you balance authenticity, clout and fame?
I don’t give a fuck about clout. I didn’t even know what the fuck that word meant until about a year and a half ago, when everybody started using it. It’s all authenticity. I think the upside with me is that my authenticity is interesting, unlike others.

When did you realize your voice was so captivating?
When the bitches started to try and pull my pants off onstage.

There’s no question you’re the people’s rapper; what would Grammy validation mean to you?
The Grammy validation is cool. I’m waiting on the Grammy nomination—so me and my mama can pick outfits out. It’s something I always promised her. So let’s get it together, Grammys, I’m the fucking best. Kirk dropping soon.