DaBaby is on one. His latest studio offering, KIRK, is projected to land at No. 1 atop the Billboard 200 chart. It would mark the rapper’s first No. 1 album, an astonishing feat considering that the 27-year-old has just barreled into the public’s radar in four short years. He’s been a ubiquitous presence on the charts with a steadily growing list of features under his belt ever since.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-bred MC paid the The Breakfast Club a visit Wednesday (Oct. 2), where the rapper opened up about what’s changed in his life in the time between the recording of KIRK and the last time he was on the Power 105.1 radio show this past March.
Then, DaBaby was fresh off his the success of “Suge” off his debut album, Baby on Baby. Currently, he’s the hottest rapper on the market, perhaps second only to Houston sensation Megan Thee Stallion. His 13-track sophomore effort has already birthed a chart-topping hit, “Intro,” a self-reflective, bittersweet ode to his father who recently passed away.
DaBaby chopped it up with the hosts of the most dangerous morning show, where he opened up about the exact moment he learned of his father’s passing, how the event birthed his second album’s first single, and the camaraderie he’s found with some of the leading ladies of rap.
Here are our top five takeaways from the candid interview:
Megan and DaBaby are easily two of this year’s biggest stars. The two appeared on our radar roughly around the same time with their independent projects. The two’s joint single “Cash Shit” quickly showed that the pair have a musical chemistry matched by few, which has been noted by fans of their friendship. DaBaby recalled how crowds would rap their verses until the two finally got to perform together on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
“When we came together, it was like butter,” DaBaby remarked. “She dope. She is a great performer and with her being on fire at the same time I’m fire, that’s probably an artist I run into more than anybody else.”
Speaking on the influence of his father’s death had on him going into this newest record, DaBaby opened up that he couldn’t even make music for a few days.
"If I go through our text messages, I could write a book with what he text me. It would help somebody be great," the rapper reflected.
The creative spark finally came back while the rapper was on a cruise, inspiring one of his most personal songs to date. To fully tap into his emotions, DaBaby had the room he was in cleared out so he could be in the right mental space.
“It was like seven to eight people in the room. They was kicking it. We had to put n*ggas out. I started rapping what I was rapping and I [saw] everybody looking all sad and s**t. I was like ‘Ah nah, y’all got to go. Y’all gon’ make this hard for me.”
Naturally, the interview turned to DaBaby’s penchant for getting close and personal with fans, perhaps too close, at concerts which has put him in some less than ideal situations.
Case in point: Just days after KIRK dropped, footage of the rapper’s bodyguard knocking out a female fan at a show surfaced online, invoking strong criticism.
When Charlamagne asked if he was aware the person was a woman, DaBaby stood his ground, explaining the person punched three people, himself included, before his bodyguard reacted. He clarified neither were aware the fan was a woman until the next day when the news reported on it but that still didn't change his view toward the situation.
“At the end of the day, what he supposed to do? Let her knock me out?" he posed, pointing out that the fan could have seriously harmed him.
"People act like because you successful [or] a celebrity, people can do you any type of way with no consequences. TMZ…..Man, they really let that get in the way of what’s right and wrong at the end of the day,” he continued.
“Just treat people the way you want to be treated."
Later in the interview, Charlamagne steered the conversation to DaBaby’s seeming bachelorhood. To which Angela Yee joked that the DaBaby’s been a happily married family man since high school. The joke was a reference the fake news that hilariously circulated on Twitter after a yearbook photo of the rapper surfaced online.
DaBaby jovially explained that one of his close friends from high school was in a yearbook class where the friend in question slid in the quote ("...my beautiful wife, Ashley Kirk") in the book as a lighthearted prank. It later became an inside joke between the two, and still is to this day, to which the group had a good laugh at.
DaBaby found fans' reactions to the the joke hilarious, although he drew a line at people bringing his family and loved ones into it.
"Don't even try to connect them," he cautioned.
DaBaby’s circumstances are markedly different from when he was first starting out. The rapper recalled how he was inspired to make “Suge” as a broke recording artist waiting on his breakthrough moment.
“I asked [my label], ‘It's been two to three weeks. Where that check at?’ I want to know it’s there. I want to know if I’m really living like that. I don’t want to record no more. I’m tired of this and broke as hell spending all this money on flights and stuff. [They] was like ‘It’s in there.’ I was like ‘Why you ain’t tell me?’ I pull up at the ATM...I’m downplaying it in case it ain’t there,” DaBaby humorously recollected, describing how he opted to print a paper receipt in case the screen played tricks on his eyes.
Sure enough, the money was there. He went straight to the studio with his producer that night where they riffed off the whole song in about 10 to 15 minutes. The 27-year-old capped off his sentiments that he was elated to hear Suge Knight himself, per Nick Cannon, was a big fan of the song as well.
Watch the full 44-minute interview to see what else DaBaby had to say about having the hottest album out right now.
Screenshot via YouTube