Who Is Rapper DaBaby?

DaBaby, real name Jonathan Kirk, first gained attention when he wore a diaper to South by Southwest in 2017. Kirk continued dropping music for his fanbase until his 2019 album Baby on Baby received national attention. His larger-than-life stunts on Instagram have translated well to his songs, showing he has strong hit-making abilities. Kirk is projected to land a spot on the coveted 2019 XXL Freshman List. Who is DaBaby?

Jonathan Kirk rapper name DaBaby
DaBaby | Cooper Neill/Getty Images

DaBaby’s life before fame

Kirk, born December 22, 1981, is from Charlotte, North Carolina. Over the years, he developed a track record from several run-ins with the law. Police arrested Kirk several times, and his driver’s license got revoked.

He wanted to change by helping people and discovered music as the perfect outlet for it. Kirk began rapping in 2014 under the name “Baby Jesus.” He changed the name because he thought it would be too conflicting and not fit with the music industry.

DaBaby’s music history

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Kirk’s first mixtape, titled, NonFiction debuted in 2015. It did not perform well, but his next mixtape, titled, God’s Work: Resurrected, made a splash. The single, “Light Show,” has since received millions of plays across all streaming platforms.

Kirk continued to release music every few months, including the Baby Talk series. It consists of five mixtapes, with the last titled Blank Blank, published in November 2018.

He released Baby on Baby in March 2019. The album debuted at number five on Apple Music and number 25 on the Billboard 200. Interscope Records signed him to the label around 2017.

Kirk is projected to feature in the 2019 XXL Freshman List. Every year, XXL publishes the list which features the top ten rappers to watch. They showcase underground artists and others who are considered to be on the verge of blowing up.

DaBaby’s legal history

On November 5, 2018, Kirk shot and killed a man inside a North Carolina Walmart. He went on Instagram to defend himself, claiming he acted in self-defense. He said two men approached him with guns during a shopping trip with his family.

Police initially charged Kirk with one count of carrying a concealed gun. However, the prosecutor dropped the charge in March 2019. People also accused Kirk of using the shooting to promote his mixtape, “Blank Blank.”

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In May 2019, Kirk and another rapper, Don Trag, were scheduled to perform in a Massachusetts night club. Allegedly, Trag tried to take a picture with Kirk when Kirk’s security team viciously attacked Trag.

While Trag’s brother said he was trying to get a picture, Kirk’s security team claimed Trag acted aggressively. TMZ obtained a video of the brutal beating which shows Kirk standing close by, watching. Police showed up and tried to investigate. However, no one cooperated.

Trag, who had been released in his mother’s care, collapsed, and had to be rushed back to the hospital where he remains in a coma. His mother says he “is not doing well” as he has considerable neck and brain swelling.