Inside DaBaby's Legal Troubles

DaBaby is one of music's hottest stars. After breaking fully into the mainstream in 2019 with singles "Suge" and "Bop," the North Carolina rapper continued his winning streak in 2020 when his song "Rockstar" with fellow rapper Roddy Ricch was named the best performing song of the summer by both Billboard and Spotify. The hard work and good luck that has made DaBaby's music career so successful, however, has not necessarily translated into good luck in his personal life.

DaBaby is no stranger to run-ins with the law. The rapper, who was born Jonathan Kirk, has been arrested a number of times, but he's managed to walk away from most of the issues relatively unscathed, being charged with misdemeanors or nothing at all. His first — and most notorious — case dates back to 2018, when DaBaby was involved in a fatal shooting inside a Wal-Mart in North Carolina.

DaBaby once shot and killed a man

On November 5, 2018, DaBaby was shopping with his two children and their mother when he became involved in a fight in a Wal-Mart in Huntsville, North Carolina. According to The Source, DaBaby shot and killed 19-year-old Jalyn Dominique Craig. DaBaby was taken into custody for questioning.

Later, DaBaby took to social media to tell his side of the story, where he revealed that Craig pulled a gun on him while he was shopping. "Daughter could have got hit, son could have got hit, [and] me," the rapper said in an Instagram live. He continued, "Lawyers... telling me not to say nothing... but two walk down on you and your whole... family... let me see what ya'll going to do." 

Ultimately, he was only found guilty of the misdemeanor of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation. By March 2020, that charge was dropped, per Charlotte Observer. He never faced any other charges. The likely reason? DaBaby was acting in self-defense, per Cheatsheet.

DaBaby got arrested right after a concert

In late 2019, DaBaby was involved with another legal dispute. After donating toys to kids and headlining a concert in North Carolina on December 23 that year, the rapper was arrested and charged with a narcotics violation. According to USA TodayDaBaby had under a half-ounce of marijuana on him when the police arrived at the scene, and officers searched his vehicle while he was still on stage performing. The police also accused DaBaby of resisting arrest, a charge the rapper strongly contested.

Following the incident, DaBaby spoke with reporters about what he described as police "unlawfully searching [his] car." The rapper told reporters that he had a video that would prove he did not resist arrest and would be posting it on Instagram, and expressed that he feels targeted by the police whenever he returns to his North Carolina. His comments sparked an internal investigation of the Charlotte Police Department to see if the officers' behavior was appropriate. Though no officers faced discipline, the charges against DaBaby were dismissed in August 2020, as reported by WVEC.

Was DaBaby the robber... or was he robbed?

In January 2020, DaBaby was involved with police again after performing in Miami, the Miami New Times reported. DaBaby got into a confrontation with a concert promoter who had allegedly promised him $30,000 for his appearance at the show but paid him only $20,000, per TMZ. The argument escalated, and DaBaby reportedly made off with $80, a credit card, and an iPhone belonging to the promoter. The rapper also reportedly dumped a container of apple juice on the promoter. His arrest was captured on video and shared on Twitter.

According to TMZ's updates on the case, DaBaby was first held on a $1,500 bond; however, when authorities realized he had an outstanding warrant in Texas, he was held without bond. He was charged with battery and held for 48 hours. In a now-deleted video, the rapper gave his version of events, declaring his innocence and promising to win any lawsuit thrown his way. While the dust from this run-in continues to settle, DaBaby vows he won't let the law break his spirits or "interrupt the path."