Fresh off the release of his No. 1 album Kirk, DaBaby is on top of the world. In a new interview for Billboard's latest cover story, the North Carolina rapper made it clear just how much he's feeling himself right now.
First, Dababy addressed recent fan incidents and says he's still going to maintain a connection with them.
"I seen plenty of artists fuck up every time fans walk by and give them too much attention. I don’t feed into that. It’s going back to knowing how to move in the streets. If you catch a charge, you still gotta go to court. I ain’t tripping, we gon’ keep it rocking until we go to court," he says.
When asked about how it felt to receive a shout-out from LeBron James, DaBaby compared himself favorably to the Lakers forward. "It's just the way I'm set up," he said. "Being that once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-an-era type of star. Like I got the creativity of a Kanye [West], the consistency of a Lil Wayne, the versatility of a Drake to make male and female songs. I’m still about whatever, like a [Lil] Boosie or a Gucci [Mane]. I’m God’s work, bro."
Thrust into the spotlight after a landmark year, DaBaby explained that he has to move differently now that he's as famous as he is. "You’re so accessible to people," he said. "Everybody in the world wants to be you. That’s the reason why it’s dangerous in the streets: N***as want what you got. And now I got way more, and the ability to get more. If I go and do this show, I’m gon’ get $100,000 after whoever takes their expenses out."
During the chat, DaBaby also spoke about the time he garnered attention for wearing a diaper at South by Southwest, and his T-shirt inspired by his viral fight in a Louis Vuitton store. "It ain’t even about what a motherfucker thinks," he said. "The diaper shit, that’s different from the T-shirt shit. The T-shirt shit-I could have let that situation turn into a bad thing and become a bad look, but [instead] I capitalized off it. It’s not fucking clout-chasing. It’s clown shit when you don’t capitalize off of it. Anything I do, I’m doing it for a reason."
In an interview earlier this year prior to the release of Kirk, the rapper said he was "scared of the bank," but his attitude has since changed. "I be in that bitch all the time," he said. "They don’t question me no more. [But] I swear to God, I used to be scared to go to the bank. I ain’t trust ’em. Hold my goddamn money? For what? I still don’t like ’em. Real talk: freezing my card and shit because I’m traveling-what the fuck you mean? That’s why it’s a card-you should be allowed to travel with it! I ain’t tripping, though. Safety first."
Pressed to explain the difference between clout-chasing and marketing further, DaBaby added that the difference comes down to money. "With the diaper shit, I knew exactly what I was doing, and people still talking about that three years later," he said. "They have a whole different level of understanding on it now when they see the creativity that I put in videos and how outgoing I am. They see how comfortable I am in my skin."
Following a question about the idea of "going pop," DaBaby said, "I feel like with me, I can't ever just go pop. I'm still going to be me." He proceeded to compare himself to Rick James, which prompted him to ask what genre of music the legendary singer-songwriter made. "He's just a bad motherfucker," interviewer Carl Lamarre responded.
"And that’s what I’m gonna be: a bad motherfucker," DaBaby replied. "And with the shit I’m gon’ do and whatever lane I’m in, I’m gonna bend the rules. I’m gonna stretch it out and see what’s been done, see how to do me and how to do it differently."