A large portion of Lil Baby's commercial appeal is his realistic accounts of things he's experienced. So while it may have seemed off-brand to some for him to release his pro-Black Lives Matter song "The Bigger Picture," it actually continues the trend that propelled him to super-stardom. Baby touched on his environment and the current state of America during his recent cover story with Rolling Stone.
While speaking to writer Charles Holmes, Lil Baby put a spotlight on Black America's relationship with the police.
"I’ve been a victim of police brutality," he said in a manner described as "nonchalant." He also detailed how race impacts America's prison and judicial system. "I’ve been in prison where white officers control you. I’ve been in a court system where white judges give you a different time than they would give someone white. There have been times I had a physical altercation with an officer, and he then grabbed me and took me to a room where there’s no camera. We have a physical altercation and left me in a room for about an hour. I’m in there yelling and screaming. I’m so accustomed to it, we don’t even make it no big deal."
Baby explained that this type of behavior is so prevalent against Black people that some view the mistreatment as normal and don't have the political or social power to fight against these forces.
"Ain’t nothing we gon’ be able to do about it. I’m from Atlanta, where they had a unit of police that got dismantled for police brutality," he said. "The Red Dogs got dismantled for using way too much force. ... That shit an everyday thing where I’m from."
Lil Baby understands that racism exists outside of police interactions and potential prison time. He told Rolling Stone that almost every aspect of America is dominated and determined by race.
"Damn near every system that got a job is a racist system. You know what I mean? CEOs be like old white people. You never know, they got to be some kind of racist ’cause at some certain age, your parent, that was the way of life almost," he said.
Prejudice can come in various forms and isn't limited to race. But the structure of racism in America is backed by systematic forces. Baby showed a firm understanding of this when detailing his struggles with the judicial system, police brutality, and knowing that Black people don't possess the platform to adequately combat this oppression without allies. Despite displaying recognition of the societal barriers that make Black-to-white racism—or "reverse racism—impossible, Lil Baby doesn't personally believe Black people can't be racist.
"To me, a racist is someone who treats a different race than theirs a different way than they would treat theirs," Lil Baby said. "I feel like if you’re a black person and you treat all black people one way and all white people one way, you’re racist. I’m not a racist, so I give a white person a chance to talk and actually we get into it before I can say I don’t like you or not. And I feel the same way about a black person. You ain’t gon’ be my buddy just ’cause you’re black. Just straight up."