Last year, DaBaby was arguably one of music’s biggest Cinderella stories. The Charlotte upstart blossomed into a superstar, courtesy of his undeniable wit and explosive features. After landing his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 last September with Kirk, six months later, he kept his momentum rolling by landing his second chart-topping project with Blame It on Baby this past Sunday (April 26).
“Coming out with Blame It on Baby and still having the listeners locked in and them having more patience to accept different types of music, I’m in a beautiful position,” Baby humbly explains to Billboard after debuting with 124,000 equivalent album units his opening week. “It’s our obligation as artists to feed them what they want.”
Since Nov. 2018, Baby has earned two platinum albums with Baby on Baby and Kirk. In 2019, he had the most Hot 100 entries, surpassing the likes of Post Malone and Drake. With Blame It on Baby, the “BOP” MC’s penchant for club bangers prevails, as he partners up with Roddy Ricch on “ROCKSTAR,” A Boogie wit Da Hoodie on “DROP” and Future on “LIGHTSKIN S–T.”
His stout lineup of supporting features, along with his newfound status as one of rap’s elite newcomers, made Blame It on Baby a splashy debut, especially on Apple Music. Not only did the album accumulate over 91 million streams during its opening week, but Blame It on Baby also hit No. 1 on the platform’s overall albums chart in 62 countries, and No. 1 on the hip-hop/rap albums chart in 108 countries.
“I don’t know another artist who been putting out the volume of music I’ve been putting out and been successful at it,” Baby says matter of factly. “I ain’t putting out music that’s flopping. I haven’t put out anything that ain’t been platinum. I’m going to the Grammys and s–t.”
After etching a lane for himself as hip-hop’s People’s Champ in 2019, the tables have suddenly turned for Baby during his sophomore campaign. Some critics thrashed Baby’s newest effort, claiming he rushed the project too soon and that he is a one-trick pony, often relying on his speedy flow to get the job done. On Blame It on Baby, he does find himself in a quandary, looking to recreate a “Suge” moment.
Though the album doesn’t have a guaranteed smash, Baby’s pedal to the metal flow has its magical moments, including the aforementioned “ROCKSTAR” and “DROP.” Even on the project’s lead single, “Find a Way,” he hushes his haters by switching up the flow, even singing on the Bonnie & Clyde-influenced record. Still, fans who fell in love with Baby’s lyrical verve, the same one he showcased on “INTRO” and Dreamville’s “Under the Sun,” are hoping that he can tap into that side a little more fully on future sets.
“I can do it tonight if I wanted to and put it out there,” says Baby when asked if he would consider making a more conventionally “conscious” album. “I’m all for that, and I think it would be healthy at this point — but see, in order for me to do that, it would have to get to where it’s at right now.” During an interview with The Breakfast Club last week, Baby said he could put together a J. Cole or Joyner Lucas kind of project if he wanted to, but he’s more concerned with perfecting his own sound first.
“When you come and create a sound, the worst thing you can do is just abandon your sound too quick ’cause all other people gon’ do is try to mimic it and try to recreate it,” says Baby. “The thing about me: my sound, my vibe is so distinct. I heard people try to duplicate it, but it’s kind of hard to duplicate. Can’t nobody cut through with the way I cut through with it. It just cut through different with me. Like I’m just gon’ pierce through the track.”
He adds: “My style is something that can’t be duplicated, so you don’t hear other people doing it. I’m the one, if I have something in the chokehold, I have to choke it all the way out ’til it falls over.”
Watch Baby’s interview with Billboard in full above, where he discusses working with Ashanti, similarities between him and YoungBoy NBA, and the growth of his producer, DJ K.i.D.