Scamming grannies and Amiri jeans off the Crocs, BabyTron has entered the chat. Michigan's hottest new rap prospect has become the people's champ for creating a sound that deviates from the traditional Midwest rappers of the past. Harry Potter references, beats reminiscent of Beverly Hills Cop, plenty of pop culture-dipped bars, droll punchlines and a whizzing delivery comprise his gift to the genre. In just three short years, he's entered fan-favorite territory, which helped position him as the 10th spot selection in the 2022 XXL Freshman Class. BabyTron brings life to the party without even having to raise his voice as he showcases in his Freshman freestyle.
Sticking to the appealing originality that has brought digital fame to his name, the 22-year-old rapper drops a few comical lines from the top. "I bang on a bitch like Juwanna Mann/Woke up, shit, damn, I gotta ham/Get the neck from a bitch, then I gotta scram/When I'm rockin’ Off-White, you know I ain’t gotta tan," he quips.
BabyTron, who names Chief Keef, Doughboyz Cashout, Drake and Lil Uzi Vert as early hip-hop influences, takes pride in his punchlines. His music is highlighted by "Lil Wayne-type shit" with a Gen Z twist, according to the rap newcomer. This freestyle illustrates a bit of that. "Uncy live the dog life, he might get a Vick/Lil bitch a porn star, give the dick a kiss," the rhymer delivers. "When I spot up the Range, it's limitless/If the convo ain’t about no pape', I'ma finish it/Punched everything I'm wearing, I'm freestyling/RIP Chris, know you watchin', so I keep smiling/2022 been great, got some cheese pilin'/Helen Keller, if I'm in the room it's gon’ be silent."
As he dives further into hip-hop's mainstream view, the self-proclaimed "King of the Mitten" has already racked up millions of streams and filled his pockets based on a quality catalog. Nearly 10 projects in, he's stacking his paper. "Pull up in that double R Can Can/Why you always up in money, they yo' man's bands/Mr. Count ’Em Hunnids All Night Till My Hands Cramp/XXL this year, shout-out Scam Fam," BabyTron closes out, giving a nod to the scam rap he was recognized for early on in his career.
Back in high school in Ypsilanti, Mich., BabyTron got his start rapping as part of the group ShittyBoyz with his friends StanWill and TrDee. Their songs like "Gamebreaker" in 2018 shined a light on the scam-rap style that would become somewhat synonymous with BabyTron’s name. These days, his rhymes have evolved past the hip-hop form. Solo tracks followed, with "Cheat Code" in 2019 becoming his first. OG fans will immediately recall when he dropped "Jesus Shuttlesworth" that same year. The track piqued further interest in his fun brand of rapping and had him dropping lines like, "Ain't no upper cuts when I say I'm ’bout to punch up/Had a better season than Giannis, got my bucks up."
"Everybody tells me they like something different about my music," BabyTron tells XXL during the Freshman shoot this past May. "Like, 'You motivate me to get money,' or 'You help me from breaking up with my girlfriend, bro.' You know, people find all types of relatable stuff in my music, but it all depends on the person whose listening to it, for real."
Earlier this year, "Prince of the Mitten" found him rhyming over 19 different beats from Detroit rappers. In June, "Emperor of the Universe" included him taking a page from his own playbook, but instead, BabyTron pulls 21 standout beats from the game's most popular and respected artists—both new and old—and adds his own sauce to the recipe.
Projects Bin Reaper and its followup, Sleeve Nash, Back To The Future, Lewis & Clark, Dookie Brothers and its sequel, Luka Troncic, Megatron and more have also provided audiences with enough BabyTron listening material to last until he says he's releasing his next one. That'll be by the end of this year. Expect Bin Reaper 3 to arrive via The Hip Hop Lab Records and EMPIRE in October.
"I dropped three albums with over 24 songs on each one," BabyTron says. "They all got half the videos to ’em out. And then I have like 30, 40 other songs that are not on albums that are just videos. So, the work ethic, nobody outworking me nowadays. So, that’s why I'm here."
Get familiar with BabyTron's style of rap in his 2022 XXL Freshman Freestyle, powered by Puma, below.
Read the 2022 XXL Freshman cover story featuring BabyTron, Cochise, Saucy Santana, Babyface Ray, KenTheMan, SoFaygo, Big Scarr, Big30, KayCyy, Doechii, Kali and Nardo Wick when the Freshman issue hits newsstands everywhere on July 13. The issue includes additional interviews with Lupe Fiasco, Kevin Gates, Pi’erre Bourne, NLE Choppa, Yvngxchris, producer DJ Dahi, engineer Teezio and singer Chlöe, plus a breakdown of every Freshman Class from a numbers standpoint, a look back at what the 2021 XXL Freshman Class is doing, the story of why the 2016 XXL Freshman Class gets so much respect now, a deep dive into the world of NFTs through hip-hop’s lens and exploring rappers’ most valuable collections. You can also buy the 2022 XXL Freshman Class issue here.