Opinion: Lil Baby is the Most Influential Artist of Our Generation


Lil Baby

Photo taken from @lilbaby’s Instagram.

Ruth Chung, Media Manager

Lil Baby has had one of the most impressive rises in the rap industry. He grew up in the Southside of Atlanta and dropped out of high school to sell drugs. In 2014, he was behind bars for drug charges for two years. Fast forward to 2023, he is now one of the most influential artists of our time.

In 2017, Lil Baby made himself known with the release of his song “Freestyle”. The next year, Baby dropped “Yes Indeed” featuring Drake, Lil Baby’s first 10 top hit. In that same year, Lil Baby started 4 Pockets Full commonly referred to as 4PF, his own music label.

2020 was really his breakout year. On Feb 28, “My Turn” dropped and debuted at number one on Billboard 2020. In March of 2022, “My Turn” broke a 55-year-old Billboard record for longest reign in the top 10. The album stayed in the top 10 for 85 weeks.

Lil Baby was riding the high of the “My Turn” success, but couldn’t ignore what was going on in America. Black people were being targeted by police and Baby dropped a powerful single called “The Bigger Picture” amid the death of George Floyd. He was calling for a change.

No other artist was making songs about the alarming black injustices that were infesting the U.S. at that specific time.

Baby was using his popularity for good. “I got power, now I gotta say somethin.” It was so refreshing to black people everywhere, including myself, to hear someone saying something about the injustices that were going on in our community at the time.

Baby performed “The Bigger Picture” at the 2021 Grammys. It was powerful to see the performance on an awards show that has been known to discredit black artists for their work.

For the first time in a long time, we were finally being heard. We were finally being represented in a positive light, making a change. We were finally seen not as gang members, criminals, or ‘baby-mamas’ but as people, actual people just trying to stop having our people murdered.

He was inspiring people to get out of the cycle black America has been stuck in for decades. He was just point blank inspirational, and he wouldn’t even know his impact until later.

More people were trying to start their own ventures to become someone. Soundcloud rappers were trying to imitate his sound, even though they failed terribly. People wanted to be the next Lil Baby.

Lil Baby’s breakout showed kids, teens, and even adults in the hood everywhere that there is a way out even in a time where black father absence rates have increased, gang violence among the black community has increased, and where black people have the highest incarceration rate.

Lil Baby never forgets where came from, which makes him so likable. Baby donated the $1.5 million dollars he made off of “The Bigger Picture.” He gave free bikes to kids in Atlanta, and more recently he donated $100,000 dollars in scholarships to his former high school.

For all he has done, the City of Atlanta recognized Nov. 13, 2022 as Dominique “Lil Baby” Jones Day.

His philanthropy is only a part of why I think Lil Baby is the best artist of our generation. In my opinion, he is a musical genius. Baby’s musical diversity to be able to rap on any beat and change his flow instantly is something that other new rappers in this generation have not been able to master yet.

His flow on tracks never fails to make bangers. Anytime I hear a Lil Baby song, I immediately have to start rapping with him, no matter what.

His music is literally everywhere. Even if you don’t know Lil Baby you probably know at least one of his songs if you were to hear it somewhere. On TikTok, Baby constantly has one or multiple songs trending or being used in trends. Radio stations are always playing his top songs, and some of his music is even in commercials now.

Lil Baby is here to stay.