DaBaby is all grown up. As an adult, he’s learned a lot about the importance of individuality, trusting his own exceptional abilities to create a singular pathway to success. And for DaBaby, there’s been plenty of success lately.
In a little over a year, the Charlotte native’s dropped three hit albums, been named Complex’s “Best Rapper Alive for 2019,” and emerged as an advocate for social justice. At the 2020 BET Awards, DaBaby’s “Rockstar” performance became an immediate icon, highlighting his own abuse at the hands of law enforcement, while underscoring the key messages of the George Floyd protests.
But none of that happened by accident. As DaBaby describes in this clip from Google Chromebook’s The Adulthood series—a selection of animated shorts about maturing on the road to success—he isn’t only a hip-hop megastar, but also a unique talent. Early on, DaBaby realized that honoring his own personal abilities and carving his own lane would be the keys to winning. “I just feel like that’s the most valuable thing that anybody can possess is individuality and that they should never shy away from it,” he says.
Watching above, you’ll find DaBaby knows his stardom stems from recognizing his own individual skills, distinct abilities he first discovered when he set off for UNC Greensboro. “I was just different. I was definitely the only person like me up there, but it taught me a lot,” DaBaby says about going to college. “And it was different, but you ain’t supposed to fit in. That means you special.”
Seeing that early, DaBaby’s university stint didn’t last long. But believing in his uniqueness proved the right move. Shortly thereafter, DaBaby started rapping, throwing himself into his new hustle as a mixtape maker. “I would work longer and harder than people who had nine-to-five jobs and I’m just investing every single dollar I got into it,” DaBaby says.
When that grind began to pay off, DaBaby says he didn’t change anything, instead scaling up what he’d already been doing. “When I became mainstream, I just amplified it. I did the same exact thing,” he explains.
Ultimately, DaBaby says the most important things he’s learned on his journey to superstardom are to, “be yourself, and whatever it is that you want to do, do it to the fullest.” Still, true achievement requires sacrifice too, of course. “It’s as simple as that, there’s no cutting corners,” he says. And that’s the essence of becoming an adult according to DaBaby.