DaBaby has been blowing up the rap scene with his southern flavor, even being named the Best New Hip-Hop Artist by BET! Learn more about the rising star before he makes his ‘Saturday Night Live’ debut alongside Jennifer Lopez!
Just call him a young CEO! DaBaby was named one of XXL‘s “most exciting artists in hop-hop…with his combination of talent, charisma and internet know-how.” The 27-year-old has already performed alongside Megan Thee Stallion and Ty Dolla Sign on The Late Show With Jimmy Fallon and the rapper is making his return to the NBC airwaves for his debut on Saturday Night Live! The rapper went viral earlier this year with his club ready tune “Suge (Yea Yea)” and shows no signs of slowing down with his latest tune “Bop”! Here’s 5 things to know about the up-and-coming rapper before he takes the stage at Studio 8H with host Jennifer Lopez.
1. He won Best New Hip-Hop Artist at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards. DaBaby released his first mixtape Nonfiction back in 2015 under the name Baby Jesus. He went on to release 12 more mixtapes until releasing his debut studio album Baby on Baby in March under Interscope records. The album’s debut single “Suge (Yea Yea)” quickly went viral online, landing him a coveted spot on hip-hop magazine XXL‘s annual Freshman List! In October, he was named Best New Hip-Hop Artist at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards and didn’t take the honor lightly. “With all these legends in here, I don’t take this lightly at all,” he said in his speech, with his mom proudly by his side.
2. He made Forbes ’30 Under 30′ List. The prestigious magazine named the rapper — born Jonathan Lyndale Kirk — on their elite 2019 list. Dubbing him “no one hit wonder,” the business mag came through with the stats: DaBaby released two albums in one year, both hitting it big on the Billboard charts — March’s Baby On Baby peaked at number seven March and Kirk debuted right at number one. The magazine also noted that his 22-date spring tour earned six-figures per show.
3. He’s performed on TV a few times already. The rapper performed at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards in October with Offset, and also appeared alongside his fellow XXL Freshman artist Megan Thee Stallion for her smash single “Hot Girl Summer.” SNL marks his biggest live appearance yet, but based on his fire performance from the BET Awards, we know he’s going to slay!
4. He’s already collaborated with tons of A-Listers. In addition to a song with Lil’ Wayne that’s “on the way,” the North Carolina rapper crossed off a bucket list collab with J.Cole on “Under the Sun,” which was part of Revenge of the Dreamers III. He’s also appeared on tracks with fellow breakout artist Lil Nas X (“Panini”), Offset, Rich Homie Quan, Rich the Kid and Stunna 4 Vegas.
5. He hails from Charlotte, North Carolina. The southern sound in DaBaby’s music pays homage to his roots! Though the rapper was originally born in Cleveland, Ohio on Dec. 21, 1991, his family later relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1999. He graduated from the city’s Vance High School in 2010, and pursued a musical career several years later.