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Lil Baby was born Dominique Jones in Atlanta in 1994. He grew up hanging with friends like Young Thug, Coach K, and Pee, leaning more toward a life of petty crime and street hustling while his friends went on to thrive in the music industry. In 2015, at age 19, Lil Baby went to prison for two years for a probation violation. Upon his release in 2017, he jump-started his rap career with a mixtape called Perfect Timing, released in April of that year. The mixtape featured cameos from friends like Lil Yachty, Young Thug, and Gunna, and strong production from 808 Mafia, Brickz, and many others, highlighted by Lil Baby's woozy flows. The mixtape immediately brought the young rapper fame, in part due to his affiliations with friends in the Quality Control family of artists as well as the 4 Pockets Full clique.
As his mixtape attracted more listeners, Lil Baby worked constantly on new music, releasing singles like "My Dawg" and the Young Thug collaboration "Pink Slip" in the summer of 2017. Other releases that year included Harder Than Hard, 2 the Hard Way (with Marlo), and Too Hard. Lil Baby's debut studio album, Harder Than Ever, appeared in May 2018. Featuring guest appearances from Drake, Offset, Lil Uzi Vert, and others, the release entered the Billboard 200 album chart at number three. The rapper's success continued with Drip Harder, a collaborative mixtape with Gunna that was released that October and reached number four on the Billboard 200. Yet another mixtape, Street Gossip, appeared in November 2018. 2019 saw Lil Baby starring in the film How High 2 and releasing a handful of singles including the Future collaboration "Out the Mud."
Preceded by "Woah" and "Sum 2 Prove," his second studio album, My Turn, arrived in February 2020 and went straight to number one. Later that year, Lil Baby issued a pair of singles, "On Me" and "Errbody." That June, he released "The Bigger Picture," a protest song responding to police violence and systemic racism. The track entered the Billboard singles chart at number three and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Lil Baby also performed the song live at the Grammy ceremonies that year. In March 2021, Lil Baby appeared as a featured artist on Drake's single "Wants and Needs." The song debuted in the number two position on the Hot 100, making it Lil Baby's highest-charting track up to that point. In June of that year, Lil Baby teamed up with Lil Durk for collaborative album The Voice of the Heroes. The project featured guest appearances from Rod Wave, Meek Mill, Young Thug, and Travis Scott and debuted at number one. In early 2022, he paired with Nicki Minaj for the singles "Do We Have a Problem?" and "Bussin." Lil Baby returned with new material of his own in October of 2022 with his third effort It's Only Me, which included appearances from Nardo Wick, Young Thug, EST Gee, and several others, and debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. Lil Baby kicked off 2023 with the booming standalone cut "Go Hard." ~ Fred Thomas