There was an exciting name on the line-up of performers at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards: DaBaby. The rapper, known for his southern sound that pays homage to his roots after growing up in North Carolina, experienced explosive growth in 2019. With a Grammy nomination under his belt, DaBaby took that fame and delivered an incredible performance of his tracks “PEEP HOLE,” “BLIND” and one of his biggest hits — “ROCKSTAR” — at the VMAs. On top of that, it was his first time ever taking the VMAs stage.
DaBaby also made sure to get in a message about police brutality during the performance. In the chorus of “ROCKSTAR,” DaBaby sings, “Brand new Lamborghini / f–k a cop car” — a line that he brought to life on stage by rapping on top of a cop car. By the cop car’s “Protect & Serve” slogan, the following question was spray painted on: “For who?”
DaBaby had also been nominated for the prestigious “Artist of the Year” honor, and was given nods in three other categories! His video for “Bop” earned “Best Hip-Hop and “Best Choreography” nominations, and his video with Camila Cabello, “My Oh My,” earned a nomination for “Best Cinematography.” It has been an exciting year for DaBaby, who also released his third studio album, Blame It on Baby, in April of 2020. Now learn more about DaBaby, who was born in 1991, after catching that fire performance!
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.
DaBaby wins Best New Artist at the #HipHopAwards
“All these legends in here… I don’t take it lightly at all.” ✊https://t.co/69bgMu7L5L
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) October 9, 2019
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. He even appeared in the music video for Lil Yachty’s song, “Oprah’s Bank Account,” in March of 2020.
5. He was arrested at the beginning of 2020. DaBaby was arrested for battery in Miami in Jan. 2020, after allegedly robbing a man, according to a police report obtained by TMZ. The Grammy-nominated rapper allegedly took $80, a credit card, and the victim’s iPhone 7 before dousing him in apple juice, the report claimed. The victim in question was a concert promoter, who DaBaby said shorted him money for a performance, which led to the scuffle, according to the police report. The victim was not named in TMZ‘s report.
According to the police report, the concert promoter gave DaBaby $20k, however, the rapper said he was owed $30k — and, that’s when things escalated. A second victim was allegedly punched in the face. TMZ had also obtained video of the alleged robbery, as well as footage of DaBaby being taken away in handcuffs and placed in the back of a police car.