The Untold Truth Of DaBaby

Like other buzz-worthy stars in the music scene, DaBaby has no trouble stirring up headlines. You likely heard about his politically focused claim that fellow rapper Ye West had won over his vote for the 2020 presidential election, and you may have read about the fact that he "found his female doppelganger running the drive-thru line at KFC," according to News Break.

However, DaBaby is also unlike other rappers. In fact, Complex wrote in an arguably indisputable way that he "is one of a kind in every sense of the word." Frankly, he toes a "dumb/great line," Stereogum noted, while pointing out his appearance at 2017's SXSW when he "became a minor internet sensation just by walking around 6th Street in an adult diaper and nothing else." In 2019, he spent his time releasing videos and, at the same time, "finding new ways to make himself look ridiculous." Whatever you think about his attention-grabbing antics, music lovers are undeniably into his tunes, and by August 2020, Variety reported that DaBaby's "Rockstar" had become Spotify's Top Song of the Summer.

While that kind of popularity may make you think you're familiar with DaBaby, here are a few facts you likely didn't know about the quirky rapper.

DaBaby has changed his name more than once

Would DaBaby be as popular if he went by another name? We may have been able to answer that question if the rapper had opted to stick with one of his earlier monikers. The future star was born as Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, which is a perfectly respectable name, but it doesn't quite give off the kind of vibe that the performer was apparently aiming for. However, it turns out that DaBaby didn't immediately go with the name that helped him find fame.

"In December 2014, Kirk made a quick decision to become a rapper, taking the name Baby Jesus and issuing his 'NonFiction' mixtape a month later," AllMusic detailed. Although he started "making a name for himself with his visceral live performances," the rapper ultimately decided to "[change] his name to DaBaby, going so far as to explain the 'political reasons' for this decision in the lyrics to 'DaBaby (Intro),' a short introduction to 2016's 'God's Work Resurrected,' his first mixtape under the new moniker."

"My last name K-I-R-K, Kirk / You know how I rock behind my daddy," he raps in the song, later adding: "You know how I step, you know how I rep, you know about Baby." We certainly do now.

University turned DaBaby into 'a grown man'

If you are a former student of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, then there's a chance you once took a class with DaBaby, who also once studied at the post-secondary school. Although he left before he graduated, according to The Guardian, he did make it through two years of his studies.

While DaBaby felt like he stuck out like "a sore thumb" at what Rolling Stone explained is "a predominantly white school," he doesn't seem to regret his time at the university. "It had me in a different environment," he recalled in 2019, adding, "It was something I had to adapt to. At first, I'm like, 'What the f*** am I doing here?' I did what I did for two years, and then I went back to the city. I came back a grown man."

After leaving school behind, DaBaby spent his time "in the streets." But he isn't necessarily willing to open up about what he was doing during that period. The Guardian noted that "what he did between dropping out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and starting to take rap seriously" is among the "things that DaBaby deems off-limits in interviews." You'll just have to let your imagination — or his sometimes seemingly suggestive lyrics — fill in the blanks.

DaBaby has faced serious legal issues

He may be a music industry success story, but DaBaby has also faced his fair share of legal issues. For instance, "DaBaby was detained and questioned ... in Miami in connection with a robbery investigation," NBC News reported in January 2020. The rapper "allegedly robbed the victim of $80, a credit card, [an iPhone] and then doused him with apple juice," per a police report (via TMZ). The outlet added the "dispute occurred after DaBaby felt the victim — a concert promoter — had shorted him." NBC reported that the arrest happened "after authorities discovered [DaBaby] had a warrant out of Texas," which the outlet described as being related to "organized criminal activity" and an attack on an airport employee.

Prior to that, TMZ noted that he was arrested in North Carolina for marijuana possession and faced other charges in 2019 after a November 2018 attack inside a Walmart ended in a 19-year-old being shot and killed. Eventually, the related gun possession charge was dismissed, however, the star was convicted for having a concealed gun and received a suspended 30-day jail sentence with a year of probation.

In 2022, DaBaby made headlines again after a video of him in a bowling alley fight went viral in February, according to Billboard. Then, in April 2022, there was a shooting outside of the rapper's Troutman, North Carolina home, which injured one individual. The publication noted that no charges were filed following that incident.

DaBaby is rich, but could be richer

Thanks to his hit songs and thrilling performances, DaBaby has made a fortune over the course of his career. As of June 2022, his net worth is roughly $6 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. And the "Money" rapper isn't afraid to enjoy his financial status. "You gotta show the money when you become a rapper," he told Billboard.

However, DaBaby also has a lot to lose. In April 2020, he talked to BigBoyTV about the COVID-19 quarantine, saying, "If it goes to July ... I've already missed millions for sure." How many millions? Well, he said, "I'ma hold up how many millions I think," and then flashed five fingers while someone off-camera suggested it was around $7 million. "No bulls**t. Tour alone, you know," DaBaby noted. And who knows how much he may have lost from other income streams. Hopefully, he'll be able to get by with the millions he already has.

In 2021, DaBaby lost further performance fees after a homophobic rant got many of his festival appearances canceled, as well as his clothing deal with Boohoo. After not making good on a promise to record an apology before Lollapalooza, several organizers broke their contracts with him. According to the Los Angeles Times, only two 2021 music festivals didn't remove him from their schedules. The outlet noted that the gigs he lost included Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and six others.

He started his own label (Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment)

By the end of 2020, DaBaby had pushed through quarantine to continue his career and expand the work of his personal record label, Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, which continues to do well. 

The rapper even told XXL in December 2020 that he doesn't plan on rapping forever. "Five years, I'ma be retired in five years," he told the magazine. "I won't be rapping in five years. I won't be rapping. I'll be creating other superstars."

As of June 2022, BDB Entertainment represents just four artists: 704Chop, DJ Kid, RichDunk, and Stunna 4 Vegas. DaBaby's label used to represent other artists, but they have since gone their separate ways. One of those artists, Wisdom, got into a fight with DaBaby in April 2022 during Spring Jam 2022 in Columbia, South Carolina. A video of the altercation shows DaBaby making the first move against Wisdom. Rap-Up noted there were no serious injuries.

He was in a relationship with singer DaniLeigh

An on-again-off-again relationship between DaBaby and singer DaniLeigh proved to be an abusive situation. In November 2021, DaBaby called the cops on DaniLeigh. According to Rolling Stone, the rapper streamed a fight between himself and DaniLeigh on Instagram, which led to DaniLeigh being charged with assault. Even so, DaniLeigh told the outlet that their relationship had problems.

"It was toxic," she told Angie Martinez in May 2022. "We had our really good times. We were in love. He had his little mess-ups and stuff, so we'd break up for a month and then get back together. ... We broke up a lot." She added that they are still co-parenting their child together, even though DaBaby never apologized to her. DaniLeigh also told Martinez that her new song, "Dead to Me," was based on that relationship toxicity.

DaBaby responded to DaniLeigh's interview via Instagram, where he alleged that his ex was not being truthful about the situation. Per Complex, the rapper said, in part, "I just didn't want you around me no more. Just like today, just about to have another birthday party for my princess and you done got on here lying, playing just like before, you affecting my relationship with my other children 'cause you causing stuff over there." DaBaby also accused DaniLeigh of stalking the mother of another one of his children, according to Complex.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

He has no beef with JoJo Siwa

When DaBaby released his freestyle remix of "Beatbox," one line created controversy when he name-dropped JoJo Siwa. At first, DaBaby tweeted with levity about the social media blowup over his song. But eventually, he had to explain that the line was wordplay and not a diss. Because DaBaby's birth name is Jonathan, People explained that the line was actually wordplay around his own name and replaced "see why" with "Siwa."

DaBaby later tweeted at Siwa explaining that there was nothing but love from his end. "@itsjojosiwa my 3 year old princess is your number 1 fan. I bought her every product you have out. She think she you. Don't let em trick you into thinking id ever have a problem with you. My word play just went over their heads. All love on my end shawty, Keep shinning [sic]!"

People added that Siwa never came forward with a comment on the controversy or DaBaby's follow-up explaining it. The outlet did note, however, that Siwa liked a tweet suggesting that the word "boss" be added to the "b***h" line in DaBaby's song.

He wore a diaper to SXSW in 2017

In what was probably the silliest publicity stunt in SXSW history, DaBaby showed up at the 2017 festival wearing only a diaper, along with a towel draped over his head and sneakers. Per XXL, two of his entourage members were holding signs of a happy baby in gold chains while the rapper was chanting his own name, "DaBaby," over and over.

Hot New Hip Hop reported that King Carter, DaBaby's manager, gave an interview in early 2022 saying he was against the 2017 SXSW diaper stunt. "When I met John, he was Baby Jesus," the outlet reported. "So the whole wearing a diaper thing, that was to help him transition into the name, DaBaby." Carter added that the whole stunt was 100% the rapper's idea.

Per MTV News, DaBaby explained that his diaper stunt was inspired by Tekashi 6ix9ine's rainbow hair. Trey Alston's 2019 MTV piece further examined the SXSW incident as proof that the rapper understands how going viral happens and how to access that popularity.

He lost his brother in 2020

The year 2020 was hard enough for people because of the pandemic, however, the year got harder for DaBaby. In November 2020, the rapper's brother, Glenn Johnson, died from a gunshot wound. At the time, the rapper posted to his Instagram Story with a line from his song "Intro" that read: "I would've gave up all I had to see you happy," according to Billboard. The outlet noted that the rapper's Instagram bio was also changed at the time to read "LONG LIVE MY BROTHER."

Later it was revealed that Johnson's gunshot wound was self-inflicted, according to sources who spoke to TMZ. The publication added that, prior to his death, Johnson posted a video of himself crying in a car with a gun. Per the outlet, in the video, Johnson explained that he had been through a lot in his life. OK! reported that, in the video, Johnson stated, "I think five outta five of you motherf***ks think I'm b********ing. I really don't give a f***, I don't. I'm tired of living."

On August 9, 2021, DaBaby celebrated his late brother's birthday through social media posts. According to HITC, the rapper posted an Instagram Story that read: "Happy birthday to my big brother. Love you forever, think about you daily. Call me selfish but I still ain't forgive ya. Long live Glenn."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

He's a father

It's public knowledge that DaBaby is a dad, though little is generally known about his kids. The rapper has an unofficial stepson with his ex-girlfriend, MeMe, who has a son from a past relationship. The U.S. Sun explained that, even though he is not DaBaby's biological child, DaBaby still acts as a father to him. The outlet added that DaBaby also has a daughter with MeMe, who was born in 2017, as well as a rumored daughter named Nova who was born in 2020.

Rap-Up found photos in DaBaby's Instagram Stories of a then-7-month-old Nova. The outlet said he posted a photo before that Story but it was deleted. DaBaby posted an image of him FaceTiming with his daughter, and wrote, "My baby pee'd on the potty today. She only 7 months old. My baby different!"

In February 2020, there were rumors that DaBaby had another child, along with cheating allegations, since the child was not MeMe's. He also reportedly has a child with his ex-girlfriend, DaniLeigh, though The U.S. Sun reported that it's unclear whether her child is DaBaby's.

He launched his own clothing line

According to Urban Street Wear, DaBaby's clothing line, Billion Dollar Baby, is a collection that "centers itself on eccentric branded designs with multiple camo and solid color prints." It appears from the line's Instagram that it launched sometime around May 2020. Although the page states that the shop website is live, there is no website listed, and the last post uploaded was in December 2020.

In October 2020, Ye West did a remix of "Nah Nah Nah," which featured 2 Chainz and DaBaby. According to Billboard, West rapped in the remix an affirmation that the song wouldn't be his only collaboration with DaBaby. "Tryna make some shoes with Yeezy and Billion Dollar Baby clothing," he rapped, per the outlet.

Although it seems as if DaBaby has left the fashion world behind for the moment, Empire Clothing Shop still has BDB clothes in stock, and other sites, like Streetwear, have all their remaining BDB clothing on clearance. As of June 2022, the Billion Dollar Baby website's shopping page is blank.