Lil Baby (American Rapper)
Dominique Armani Jones (born December 3, 1994), known professionally as Lil Baby, is an American singer and rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. He rose to mainstream fame in 2017 following the release of his mixtape Perfect Timing, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the trap music scene to date.
Lil Baby’s debut studio album Harder Than Ever (2018) was certified RIAA Platinum and included the song “Yes Indeed” (with Drake), which peaked at six on the Billboard Hot 100. He went on to release two more mixtapes in 2018, Drip Harder and Street Gossip, the former containing his most popular song “Drip Too Hard”, which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, and the latter peaking at number two on the US Billboard 200. Lil Baby’s second studio album, My Turn (2020), peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and is certified three times platinum by the RIAA. The song “We Paid” (with 42 Dugg) charted at number ten on the Hot 100. In June 2020, he released the single “The Bigger Picture”, which peaked at number three on the Hot 100, becoming the highest-charting song as a lead artist of his career. In 2021, Lil Baby released the collaborative album The Voice of the Heroes with Lil Durk, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
Throughout his career, Lil Baby has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and seven BET Awards. He has been crowned as the biggest all-genre ‘Artist of the Year’ at the Apple Music Awards 2020.
Dominique Jones was born in Atlanta, Georgia in the Oakland City neighborhood. He was two years old when his father left the family, leaving his single mother to raise him and his two sisters. While he was not struggling academically, Jones would repeatedly get in trouble, resulting in him dropping out of Booker T. Washington High School in the ninth grade.
In early 2012, he was charged for possession with intent to sell among other charges. His original lawyer urged him to take a two-year plea deal, but Jones refused, and acquired a new lawyer. This new lawyer placed Jones in a special program that would only hold him for a year. While in this program, he got into an altercation with a white prisoner over racial comments. After, Jones’ sentencing was replaced with the original 2-year deal. Later in 2013, he had a charge of possession of marijuana for less than an ounce. In 2014, he was arrested again and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell among other things. After being incarcerated for two years, he began his rap career with 4PF (4 Pockets Full) and Quality Control Music.
2015–2018: Career beginnings and Harder Than Ever
Shortly after his release from prison, Jones released his mixtape Perfect Timing, with features from Young Thug, Lil Yachty, and others. He released his second mixtape entitled Harder Than Hard on July 18, 2017. On October 9, 2017, Jones released a collaboration mixtape with close friend and fellow Atlanta rapper Marlo, 2 The Hard Way. This mixtape did not create as big an impact as the two former tapes, but still garnered some attention. Jones finally started to break through to the masses with his December 2017 mixtape Too Hard, led by his hit single “Freestyle”, which was released as a music video on November 5 to promote the upcoming mixtape. As of March 23, 2021, the video has nearly 400 million views on YouTube. Through the success of the single, Jones attracted much attention towards his mixtape. When the mixtape was finally released, it featured the single “All of a Sudden” with featuring American rapper and friend Moneybagg Yo. This mixtape was defining for much of Jones’ current career. In May 2018, Baby released his debut studio album, Harder Than Ever, which debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album was supported by the singles, “Southside” and “Yes Indeed” (with Drake), the latter peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. “Life Goes On” featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Gunna charted at 74 on the Billboard Hot 100.
2018–2019: Drip Harder and Street Gossip
Lil Baby in 2018
After Lil Baby released Harder Than Ever, he released his collaborative mixtape Drip Harder with labelmate and close friend, Gunna on October 5, 2018. The lead single, “Drip Too Hard” went on to become certified 9x Platinum by the RIAA. and MC Platinum, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and being nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The mixtape was released under the labels Quality Control, YSL Records and Motown/Capitol.
In September 2018, Baby appeared on the Adult Swim television series FishCenter Live. In November 2018, he released his mixtape Street Gossip. In December 2018, Baby collaborated with Yung Gravy on the latter’s single, “Alley Oop”.
He starred in How High 2, the sequel to the 2001 stoner film How High, which premiered on April 20, 2019, on MTV. On June 21, 2019, Baby and Future released a single titled “Out the Mud”. On July 17, 2019, Lil Baby appeared alongside DaBaby on the single “Baby”, released on Quality Control’s second studio album, Control the Streets, Volume 2. The song peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. On November 8, 2019, Baby released his single “Woah” as the lead single for his second studio album My Turn. The song peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. On November 9, 2019, Baby who was featured in YouTuber KSI’s song “Down Like That” along with fellow rapper Rick Ross and British producer S-X, performed it for KSI’s ringwalk at Staples Center for his fight against YouTuber Logan Paul. On November 15, 2019, Baby released a song from the film Queen & Slim, titled “Catch the Sun”, which subsequently appeared on My Turn.
2020–2021: My Turn and The Voice of the Heroes
On January 10, 2020, Lil Baby released the second single, “Sum 2 Prove”, for his album, and it reached number 16 on the Hot 100. The album, My Turn, was released on February 28, 2020 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. It features guest appearances from Gunna, 42 Dugg, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Wayne, Moneybagg Yo, Young Thug and Rylo Rodriguez. My Turn produced 12 songs that appeared the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving him a career total of 47 songs on the chart, putting him at a tie with Prince and Paul McCartney. Following the release of the album’s deluxe version on May 1, My Turn returned to the top spot on the Billboard 200. On June 12, 2020, Lil Baby released the political song “The Bigger Picture”, amid the George Floyd protests. The song also debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Lil Baby’s highest-charting song as a lead artist. His song “We Paid” featuring 42 Dugg from the My Turn deluxe also peaked in the top 10 of the Hot 100. In July 2020, Lil Baby was featured on Pop Smoke’s “For the Night”, from his posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. The track reached number six on the Hot 100. In September 2020, My Turn became the first album of the year to be certified double platinum by the RIAA. “The Bigger Picture” received two nominations at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards: Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.
On March 14, 2021, Lil Baby performed “The Bigger Picture” at the Grammys in 2021 to mostly positive reviews. The following day, another collaboration with Drake, “Wants and Needs”, debuted at number two on the Hot 100. Passing a previous peak and debut with “The Bigger Picture” for Jones, becoming his highest-charting song overall.
On June 4th 2021, Lil Baby released his collaborative studio album with Lil Durk, The Voice of the Heroes. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
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