• GOV'T NAME: Jonathan Kirk
  • AGE: 27
  • REPPIN': Charlotte, N.C.
  • TWITTER: @DABABYDABABY
  • INSTAGRAM: @DABABY
  • NOTABLE RELEASES: Singles: "Suge," "Baby Sitter," "Goin Baby"; Projects: Baby Talk, Baby Talk 5, Blank Blank, Baby on Baby; Guest Appearances: Megan Thee Stallion's "Cash Shit"
  • LABEL: South Coast Music Group/Interscope
  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Upcoming project release date to be decided.
  • SURPRISED ABOUT WHO IS MISSING: "I don't know...I really don't. I don't feel like it's my place to judge. What I can do is speak on myself. I definitely feel like I deserve to be on that bitch. So y'all got that [one] right, fo' sho."
  • INFLUENCED BY: "My sound, I don't... I ain't [really] pull from no rapper. I make it a point not [to], you know what I mean?
    I'm an early 1990's baby, so I had the pleasure of going through a lot of eras in music. I'm talking way back from Eminem to 50 Cent to Ludacris to Nelly to muthafuckin' everybody. Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, all that shit. All the way to [Dem Franchise Boyz's] 'Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It.' I saw all that shit, all the way to Lil Wayne. I got to soak up all that. I love music. But it wasn't like, 'I'ma be a rapper.'
    If I could pick one name in particular out of all them names, me being the age that I am, it'd have to be Lil Wayne. Out of all the people I named, they had big eras, they had they time. Wayne, it was something different. Just his mentality. That's what I'm on. That's why I gotta say Wayne—the best muthafuckin' rapper in the world, that's me now."
  • AS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL: "I was Jon Jon."

TRUTH ON BEING AN XXL FRESHMAN: "[When] I found out I was a Freshman, my manager [Daud] Carter had linked in. I think I was paying for some shit at the store or something, thumbing through the money paying for some shit at the store. Carter called me like, 'Yeah, you made XXL Freshman.' I don't know what I said. Really, I just been so much in my bubble, just working nonstop. Before I could even pick up my head to think about becoming one, someone was leaning over telling me that I was on the list. The blessings been coming in crazy. It was definitely a big achievement for me, for sure.

I really didn't tell nobody I was a Freshman. I still ain't told nobody. The few people that I have told was like, 'What you got going on today?' and [I was like], 'I can't do it, I gotta go to the Freshman cover shoot today.' And they was like, 'Ohhh shit.' It's major.

I ain't prepare for [the Freshman shoot]. I was just in New York. From New York, I went to Pittsburgh. I did the show, I got offstage, chilled for like an hour. Went to the airport at like 5 in the morning, flew to Charlotte at 9 in the morning. Got a case dismissed around noon. Hopped back on a plane at 2 p.m. Got off the plane, drove through muthafuckin' New York traffic in the same clothes that I goddamn went to Charlotte in and came and goddamn annihilated the XXL cypher. I think I had the best verse. Shout-out to all the other contestants. So, you know, I don't prepare. I'm already prepared; I ain't even been to sleep.

Being a Freshman means that I'm the best muthafuckin' rapper. I bring consistency, culture. I bring some shit that nobody else bring. I don't give a fuck about the shit that other people give a fuck about. That's what I bring to the game. I'm a force to be reckoned with.

I deserve it though, real talk. I feel like, since 2019, period, ain't nobody... I done outworked everybody in the game. Real talk. If I'm lying, let's line it up. Let's line up music that's put out, let's lineup visuals that's put out. Period. Let's line up day-to-day content.

I work hard, and being a Freshman set a new set of standards for me, which I like. Being a Freshman put pressure on me. That's what drives me to exceed all expectations. Everybody's. My own, most importantly. I'm pretty sure my expectations are higher than the aver- age person's. It just sets standards. That's what makes me deliver, you know what I mean? Standards, standards. I love it. Pressure.

I love it. I love it when you have to perform at a certain level or else. That's when I'm at my best."

XXL

DABABY'S 2019 XXL FRESHMAN PROFILE INTERVIEW

With a combination of talent, charisma and a little internet know-how, it’s no surprise that newly minted 2019 XXL Freshman DaBaby has leaped out of Charlotte, N.C. and become one of the most exciting artists in hip-hop. DaBaby is going global.

After delivering his first raps back in 2014, the 27-year-old rapper formerly known as Baby Jesus has kept his foot on the gas by putting out eight mixtapes, including Baby Talk (2017), Billion Dollar Baby (2017), Baby Talk 5 (2018) and Blank Blank. This past March, he upped the ante with Baby on Baby, an audio thrill ride that includes an Offset feature ("Baby Sitter") and "Suge," a song that became his first-ever Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single.

While his rugged raps and decisive baritone helped him develop the core of his fan base, his music videos have taken his virality to a new level and further distinguished him from trite gangsta rap archetypes. The visual for "Suge" finds DaBaby rocking faux muscles and adopting the persona of a Suge Knight-like rap industry figure. In "Baby Sitter," he's an oversized kid stuffing himself with Fruity Pebbles and causing mischief with Offset. Meanwhile, in the video for "Carpet Burn," which is his most audacious yet, the rapper mocks another rapper he fought in a Louis Vuitton store. You get the idea, and so do his fans, who've helped his videos get over 109 million YouTube views over the last few months.

With his blend of athletic flows, quirky videos, viral stunts—in 2017 he wore a diaper to the South by Southwest Festival—and some honest-to-God strong rapping, the Interscope Records artist has made a career off fire and brazenness. He's got the work ethic to match up with the confidence, too.

"I feel like, since 2019, period, ain’t nobody [outworked me]. I done outworked everybody," DaBaby tells XXL. "And if I'm lying, let's line it up. Let's line up music that's put out, let's lineup videos that's [been] put out. Period. Let's lineup day-to-day content. Show's that's been done."

Months removed from unloading his breakout album, DaBaby said he was only planning on leveling up even more. "Now that I'm a XXL Freshman, you know, I feel like that sets high standards for me, and I feel like I have to deliver. I like pressure," DaBaby says. "I plan to exceed all expectations."

See what DaBaby brings to the table by checking out his Freshman interview up top.

See Photos of DaBaby Behind the Scenes at the 2019 XXL Freshman Cover Shoot

DABABY'S 2019 XXL FRESHMAN FREESTYLE

For artists like 2019 XXL Freshman DaBaby, it's always going to come back to the bars, and those are exactly what the Charlotte, N.C. rapper offers with his 2019 XXL Freshman freestyle.

Laced with his signature bravado and casually menacing gunplay, DaBaby's freestyle is everything fans love about the rapper distilled into a tidy one-minute portion. He starts things off by letting viewers know there's only one DaBaby.

"Shit, I can't name a nigga that flow like I flow, get it out the mud like I did/Told ya out the door what I'm on," the 27-year-old "Suge" rapper spits in his opening couplet.

"Ride through another nigga hood, they look, I stare back/Have you plugged up to machines, fucking with me, gon' need a care pack," he raps at another point of the freestyle.

DaBaby's freestyle is just one example of his rhyming skills, which are something he's flaunted from the start of his rap career. Since he first started rapping back in 2014, the rapper, born Jonathan Kirk, has delivered ferocious bars coated with bits of humor as he's carved out a lane for himself in the industry. His videos echo those lyrical sensibilities, blending outlandish situations with ruthless bars.

Over the course of several projects, including Baby Talk, Blank Blank, Baby on Baby and more, DaBaby has only honed his writing technique and become a more distinguished MC. After being named a 2019 XXL Freshman, he's looking to take things to another level—and you shouldn't bet against him doing so.

But that's enough talking. Check out DaBaby's 2019 XXL Freshman freestyle for yourself above.

DABABY'S ABCs

Generally speaking, ABCs are anything but entertaining—except for when they're done by your favorite rappers. That's something XXL makes happen, and for today's edition of ABCs, a series that puts rappers on the spot to say a word that pops into their head when hearing each of the 26 letters in the alphabet, we have 2019 XXL Freshman DaBaby.

Known for his granite tone of voice and menacing lyrics, DaBaby lets loose a bit for his entry into XXL's ABCs. In the segment, the Charlotte, N.C. rapper showcases his sense of humor while showing a soft side for sweets and bashing vegan food. When he's not doing that, he's letting off some insults or getting some self-promotion in.

"D, donuts. Krispy Kreme with the hot sign on 'em," DaBaby says. "F, fuck you. Bitch-ass nigga," he adds.

A bit further on in the alphabet, DaBaby dismisses a dietary plan. "V, vegan food is nastier than a muthafucka. I don't know how y'all be doing it," he shares.

DaBaby also uses the alphabet to ask viewers an important question. "Y, why the fuck haven't you downloaded my new mixtape?" Hey, if you don't plug yourself who will, right?

Peep DaBaby's ABCs up top.

DABABY, MEGAN THEE STALLION, LIL MOSEY AND YK OSIRIS' 2019 XXL FRESHMAN CYPHER

With each new XXL Freshman class comes a new set of rappers on a mission to prove they are ready for the hip-hop world. The 2019 inductees are no different. A divergent new crew of 11 artists were crowned XXL Freshmen this year, but despite their contrasts, they have one consistent goal to help raise the bar; a common theme in the roundtable interview with DaBabyMegan Thee StallionYK Osiris and Lil Mosey.

“When you a Freshman and, shit, you either made it or you the next to go crazy,” says Seattle’s Lil Mosey of the cover’s stamp of approval. “That’s like the biggest platform. If you there, everybody’s watching, like, ‘These the niggas that’s next up and shit.’”

YK Osiris agrees there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with being one of the select few chosen. “A lot of people didn’t make it, you know? So, for you to make it, a lot of people gon’ be watching and your career is going to go up and up,” the Florida native says. “They expect more outta, you know? You can’t just do no dumb junk. You gotta go crazy after that.”

With over a decade of Freshman magazines in the books, most of the class is young enough to have literally grown up checking for the covers before they were rapping.

“It’s definitely something all of us used to look at. You look at that shit, it make you put your eyes on somebody. So, it’s big, big. It’s extra-large,” says DaBaby, who has already collaborated with fellow Freshmen YK and Megan on tracks.

Houston hot girl Megan Thee Stallion believes the 2019 XXL Freshman class has set a new standard. “I’ma just say, I feel like this class is one of the best in a minute,” she opines. “We got some rappers on here. Some people that actually take their craft pretty seriously. After this, I feeling like you gotta raise the bar for the next people y’all pick because we did the damn thing this time.”

Peep DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, YK Osiris and Lil Mosey’s XXL Freshman roundtable discussion above.

DABABY, MEGAN THEE STALLION, LIL MOSEY AND YK OSIRIS' 2019 XXL FRESHMAN ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW

With each new XXL Freshman class comes a new set of rappers on a mission to prove they are ready for the hip-hop world. The 2019 inductees are no different. A divergent new crew of 11 artists were crowned XXL Freshmen this year, but despite their contrasts, they have one consistent goal to help raise the bar; a common theme in the roundtable interview with DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, YK Osiris and Lil Mosey.

“When you a Freshman and, shit, you either made it or you the next to go crazy,” says Seattle’s Lil Mosey of the cover’s stamp of approval. “That’s like the biggest platform. If you there, everybody’s watching, like, ‘These the niggas that’s next up and shit.’”

YK Osiris agrees there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with being one of the select few chosen. “A lot of people didn’t make it, you know? So, for you to make it, a lot of people gon’ be watching and your career is going to go up and up,” the Florida native says. “They expect more outta, you know? You can’t just do no dumb junk. You gotta go crazy after that.”

With over a decade of Freshman magazines in the books, most of the class is young enough to have literally grown up checking for the covers before they were rapping.

“It’s definitely something all of us used to look at. You look at that shit, it make you put your eyes on somebody. So, it’s big, big. It’s extra-large,” says DaBaby, who has already collaborated with fellow Freshmen YK and Megan on tracks.

Houston hot girl Megan Thee Stallion believes the 2019 XXL Freshman class has set a new standard. “I’ma just say, I feel like this class is one of the best in a minute,” she opines. “We got some rappers on here. Some people that actually take their craft pretty seriously. After this, I feeling like you gotta raise the bar for the next people y’all pick because we did the damn thing this time.”

Watch DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, YK Osiris and Lil Mosey’s XXL Freshman roundtable discussion above.