Rapper DaBaby exploded into the rap scene in 2019, and there didn’t seem to be any barriers to how high he could go. However, his homophobic comments during one of his concerts in 2021 appear to be changing that.
DaBaby’s rise to fame and fall from grace is an interesting story. How much is his net worth, and how did he accumulate his wealth? Let’s find out.
DaBaby is an American rapper and songwriter who was formerly known as Baby Jesus. He released several mixtapes between 2014 and 2018 but rose to mainstream prominence in 2019.
His debut studio album Baby on Baby was an instant success, reaching number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, number 2 on the Top Rap Albums chart, and number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
He followed up with the albums Kirk (also in 2019) and 2020’s Blame It on Baby. All three of his albums are certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Kirk debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and contains the top 10 single “Suge”, while Blame It on Baby featured the multi-platinum records “Intro” and “Bop”.
DaBaby is also a music video director. He directed some of his own songs’ videos, such as “Ball If I Want To”, “Red Light Green Light”, and “Giving What It’s Supposed to Give”. He also directed videos for fellow rappers, such as Rich Dunk’s “Gas Gas” and “Demon” and Stunna 4 Vegas’ “Play U Lay”.
DaBaby won the Best Male Hip Hop Artist trophy at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in 2020 after being named the Best New Hip Hop Artist the previous year. He was also nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.
DaBaby’s net worth is approximately $6 million, according to various sources. Besides his earnings as a rap star, his other sources of income include Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, a record label he founded in 2017.
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment currently has 5 artists signed to the label. DaBaby declared that he intends to focus on this business. “I won’t be rapping in 5 years, I won’t be rapping. I’ll be creating other superstars,” he said.
In 2019, DaBaby paid $2.3 million for an 11,300 square foot home in the small town of Troutman, North Carolina (population: approximately 2,800). The mansion has 5 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, a home theater, and a wine cellar, and the 9-acre property features concrete walls, guard towers, and stadium lighting.
There have been a number of complaint calls for DaBaby’s address since December 2019. Iredell County’s emergency communications office said that there had been instances of burglar alarms going off, loud noises, and at least two domestic arguments. The neighbors also phoned in complaints about “100 cars a day” driving through the formerly quiet neighborhood.
DaBaby was born Jonathan Lyndale Kirk on December 22, 1991 in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the youngest of 3 sons and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina after his family moved there in 1999. He graduated from Vance High School in 2010 then attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for 2 years.
He said that he never really wanted to go to college. “I didn’t even have a major decided at college. I only went to school for my parents,” he stated. DaBaby’s father passed away in 2019, and his brother Glenn died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2020.
So how did DaBaby become a successful hip hop and trap artist after dropping out of school?
DaBaby originally released music under the name Baby Jesus. His music career began in 2015 when he released the mixtape Nonfiction. He released 2 more mixtapes that year and another 2 in 2016. In 2017, he released a total of 6 mixtapes, making him one of the most prolific rap artists within that period.
DaBaby’s big break came when he signed with the South Coast Music Group after the record label’s president saw him perform in North Carolina clubs. Through South Coast, he entered into a distribution deal with Jay-Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation, to release his 2018 mixtape Blank Blank.
DaBaby chose the Interscope record label after an intense bidding war caused by that mixtape. His deal was reported to be in the 7-figure range. Afterward, he released his first studio album and went on to collaborate with various artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, YG, and Lizzo.
And then, the homophobia controversy happened.
- During DaBaby’s set at a Miami, Florida festival in 2021, he said, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two, three weeks, then put your cellphone light up. Ladies, if your p***y smell like water, put a cellphone light them up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d**k in the parking lot put your cellphone light up. Keep it real.”
- Because his comments were seen to be spreading misinformation about HIV/AIDS and stigmatizing the illness, the fashion brand boohooMAN dropped him less than a month after collaborating on a summer collection.
- His remarks also caused his scheduled appearance at Lollapalooza 2021 to be cancelled. Furthermore, the organizers of the Governors Ball Music Festival announced that he had been removed from their 2021 lineup. He was also cut from the Parklife Festival, Day N Vegas, the Austin City Limits Festival, Music Midtown, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
- Although DaBaby posted an apology on Instagram, he deleted it a week later, spurring further backlash. He has since complained of being “canceled” by internet denizens.
- DaBaby was also involved in an incident in Huntersville, North Carolina in 2018 where a 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and died. He said he acted in self-defense, and the most serious charges were dropped. He pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, which is only a misdemeanor.
- During his 2020 “Up Close N Personal” tour, he slapped a female fan on his way to the stage for a performance. The crowd booed him, and he left without performing any songs. He said that he struck her because she placed her phone too close to his face while taking a video with the flash on. He later responded, “I do apologize that there was a female on the other end. I think by this time, you know it’s a well-known fact that male or female, I would’ve responded the same exact way.”
- DaBaby’s politics are also controversial. He endorsed the presidential campaign of independent candidate and fellow rapper Kanye West in 2020.
- DaBaby has two daughters. His former girlfriends MeMe (the mother of his eldest daughter) and DaniLeigh had a feud on Twitter in 2020, allegedly because of him.
DaBaby’s story can be seen as a cautionary tale about how success can go to a person’s head. Rolling Stone once said that his rapping style was “a syllable-crushing force delivered with such forward momentum it often gives the illusion that he starts rapping before the beat begins.” No doubt he is an extremely talented individual.
Nevertheless, it does not seem likely that he will be able to add much to his net worth soon. The controversies he has been involved in are inevitably hurting his career, and it remains to be seen if he can get past them.