Before DaBaby was a chart-topping rapper, he was Jonathan Kirk. Born in Cleveland, DaBaby moved to Charlotte, N.C. at 6, where he spent his formative years. After graduating from Julius L. Chambers High School, he attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro but dropped out. Around 2014, DaBaby began taking music seriously and released his debut mixtape, Nonfiction, in 2015. He followed up with the God's Work and Baby Talk mixtape series, Billion Dollar Baby and Back on My Baby Jesus S**t. He ultimately caught the attention of radio promoter Arnold Taylor, who signed him to South Coast Music Group. Through a contract with South Coast, the rapper landed a distribution deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation for his Blank Blank mixtape in 2018, and signed with Interscope Records a year later. 2019 proved to be a fruitful year for DaBaby and sent him into another stratosphere. He released not one but two albums—Baby On Baby and Kirk, which peaked at No. 25 and No. 1, respectively. "Suge," from the former project, reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, while "Intro" from the latter hit No. 13.

DaBaby’s third album, Blame It On Baby, arrived in 2020, and debuted at No. 1, selling more than 124,000 album-equivalent units in its opening week. It produced his highest-charting song, "Rockstar" featuring Roddy Ricch, which spent seven non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and topped the charts in the U.K. In June of 2020, DaBaby was featured on Jack Harlow’s "Whats Poppin (Remix)," which peaked at No. 2, making DaBaby only the 20th act to occupy the chart's top two positions. The following month, he was featured on the late Pop Smoke's "For The Night" with Lil Baby, another top 10 hit. As a result, DaBaby became the seventh act to chart at least three songs in the top six simultaneously.

But DaBaby’s success was tampered by his 2021 appearance at Rolling Loud Miami, where he made several comments perceived as homophobic. He was dropped from numerous festivals and shunned by many in the music industry. Nevertheless, he released the Better Than You mixtape with NBA YoungBoy in 2022, and that same year, followed up with his fourth studio album, Baby On Baby 2, which peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard 200.

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