The Charlotte rapper discussed the health crisis' affect on his booming career during a recent Billboard interview, which was published just days before his drive-in concerts in Chicago. DaBaby told the outlet he had to get creative during this time of social distancing, and had already made up his mind that he wouldn't perform a traditional concert until at least 2021.
"With as big of a year I had last year, I had moved into the arenas ... I was in arenas only, in festivals only, that's it. So, I think for artists who done got to that point, we're gonna be the last ones that get back to the regular flow," he said (11:05). "... Even coming in, like when coronavirus first hit ... I already had it made up in my mind that I wasn't even gonna be performing until 2021."
"I'm just grateful to be able to get in front of my fans and put on a show. I'm not really tripping on the bag part of it ... it ain't making up for what's been lost," he said about the upcoming Chicago gig. "... Any opportunity I get to be in front of the fans and to not be forced to do it virtually—'cause I'm not really cool with that, but I like getting in front of people ... I'm a people person. I like touching people, I like feeling people's vibes, I like getting energy from my fans when I perform ... that's when the magic happens for me."
Though he admitted he missed the face-to-face interactions with fans, DaBaby has found a silver lining of the lockdowns: He's been able to spend more time with his family, hone his craft, and learn more about the business.
"When it kick back off, I know I'm not gonna have a day off—probably until 2025," he said. "... We survived the pandemic. We're pandemic proof."
DaBaby also discussed his guest appearance on Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, Pop Smoke's posthumous album produced by 50 Cent. The rapper said he wanted to collaborate with Fif one day, as he's always admired his accession in the industry.
"That's one of the people that I grew up watching. That's somebody I actually studied," he said. "[50 is] versatile, not only as an artist, just as an individual, period—being business-minded, acting ... being versatile. I soak that up from him."
DaBaby went on to talk about his success in 2019 and how he faces a lot more competition in 2020—specifically from fellow rising artists Lil Baby and Roddy Ricch.
"It's a close race, ain't it," he said. "I really can’t call it. I rock with Lil Baby and I rock with Roddy Ricch. Both of them my partners, man. Both of them real good dudes. Both of them real genuine dudes. For us three to be the three names in that conversation right now, it wouldn’t matter to me where the standings land at the end of the year. I know what I’m going for. They my partners. Love y’all to death."
You can check out DaBaby's full interview above.