Lil Baby has had a phenomenal past couple of years in the music industry. His second album, My Turn, release in 2020 catapulted the high school dropout into the world of A-list rappers. His album topped the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks.
This year, the emcee emerged as a featured artist on top-charting hits from Hip Hop’s elite stars Drake (“Wants and Needs”) and J. Cole (“pride. is. the. devil”).
The “Drip to Hard” rapper teamed up with Lil Durk for a collaborative LP The Voice of the Heroes. Their joint project returned Baby to No. 1. According to MRC Data, the project garnered 150,000 album-equivalent units in its debut week.
At a time when most would be relishing in their fame and fortune, the Atlanta native is focusing on building a legacy for his children.
“Everything I’m doing is really for my kids,” the father of two Loyal (2) and Jason (5) says. “I want more kids than I got because once you get older, you start to look at life differently. Where I come from, I’m the only one, so I have to build the generation up and keep the family going. I need more children to continue the legacy.”
Although already a rising heavy hitter in the realm of hip hop, Lil Baby’s success extends beyond his musical talents. Last year, the rapper wrote “The Bigger Picture,” a response to the national outcry over the police killing of George Floyd. “The Bigger Picture” topped the Hot 100 charts at No. 3, which at that point was Lil Baby’s highest-chart topping single of his career.
“To make that song about social justice, and even talk about what happened to George, was phenomenal,” says Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s younger brother. “I thank [Baby] a lot for that because he let a lot of other people understand that, ‘I might be from the streets, but I understand what’s going on in this world.’ ”
The rapper, born Dominique Armani Jones, joined the Floyd family and attorney Ben Crump at the White House. The goal of visiting the executive mansion was to support the passing of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. (The House of Representatives passed the bill in March, but the Senate has yet to approve it.)
“He wanted to make a difference,” says Crump regarding the rapper’s presence at the meeting. “He reached out to people he knew to help George Floyd’s daughter, and that was his first involvement. He just continued to use his influence to encourage his followers to educate themselves so we can make a change, so this won’t happen to other unarmed Black people.”
Along with his devotion to national issues affecting the Black community, the 26-year-old is devoted to uplifting the community he grew up in. In June, the Atlanta native brought out Footlocker and gifted the shoes to the local community.
“My life feels like a responsibility,” says Baby. “I’m not even trying to be no role model, honestly. [But] now that I know that I am, I try to carry myself differently because I got people watching. I don’t even be doing what I really want to do. I do what I gotta do now.”