Lately, Lil Baby's personal life has spilled onto the internet. Instead of directly addressing the situations, the rapper decided to stay quiet, only sending out a few cryptic tweets. This could be reflective of the way Lil Baby views the internet and social media. During an interview with The New York Times, Baby explains that he purposely avoids becoming an internet figure because he wants to build his image off of authenticity.
"Hell yeah. That ain’t me, though! To me, that’s gimmicks — clout," Lil Baby said when asked if he consciously strays away from social media fame. "I ain’t for that. My following came from me, not like some old viral stuff. I don’t even know how to do that."
Despite shying away from social media antics and interviews, Lil Baby has remained one of the game's hottest artists. He thinks that his semi-reclusive nature and emphasis on doing things his way has actually increased his popularity.
"I just ain’t into it. I’m low-key bigger than the people who do that. One day maybe. Probably not, though. I don’t got a thrill for it. Fashion show in Paris, like … cool [shrugs]," he explained. "I think I got that from prison. Like, just, you’re there, but you’re not there. It’s a mental thing: 'I’m in here, and I just got to get through it.' When I got out, it was the same thing. I’m just there, but I’m not there. Even for good stuff. It keeps me going."
Lil Baby was released from prison in 2016. Although he was still connected to the streets, friends in the music industry like Young Thug, Gunna, and Quality Control CEO Pierre "Pee" Thomas saw potential in him as a rapper. As a result, they used to urge Lil Baby to come to the studio and their predictions proved to be true. By 2018, Lil Baby was a bonafide star in hip-hop. Even though the world now knows him as a rapper, Lil Baby doesn't see himself as a recording artist.
"I never saw me being a rapper. A big-dog dope boy, that’s it. Not even just a dope boy. That’s why I ain’t got no tattoos, because I always knew I was going to run my money up, and I was going to have to go sit in front of some people to do something with my money. And I didn’t want them to look at me like a dope boy," Lil Baby explained. "I had to keep my appearance straight. I literally said, 'When I sit down in front of these white folks, I don’t want to have no tattoos.' In a way, it’s still that today. Because when I’m sitting in these meetings, I don’t have tattoos on my face. I know they’d have to think something if I’ve got tattoos on my face."
Still, Lil Baby is striving to grow as a rapper. He's hoping to bring more honesty to his music. Like other artists, Lil Baby has a lot of drug-fueled lyrics. While he does admit to drinking codeine, Lil Baby said that he started off rapping about drugs he doesn't use.
"I’m trying. Because I done rapped about drugs that I don’t even take. People think I take ’em and then people take ’em thinking I take ’em. Like popping Percs [Percocet]. I don’t pop Percs — period," Baby said about his choice to stop rapping about drugs. "Every now and then, I used to take a half of one, but I say it in my raps because I might pop one and that’s what’s going on."
Lil Baby went from prison to becoming a platinum-selling artist. Yet, he's found the balance between remaining true to himself and not reverting back to his past behavior.
"Too confident. No way. I’d die before I go to jail. That’s all I needed to see. And it’s different being a celebrity getting in trouble [than] a regular person getting in trouble," Lil Baby said when asked if he's confident he'll stay out of jail. "If I went to prison right now, I’d be lit. Prison now wouldn’t even faze me, honestly. But in my mind, I ain’t even dumb enough to think like that. I trained myself to think about how it was then. Hell nah, I’ll never go back."
Along with sharing his thoughts with the Times, Lil Baby make an appearance on Fire in The Booth with Charlie Sloth. Listen to his latest freestyle below.