Lil Baby is best known for his career as a musician, but before his rise to fame, did the rapper pursue other ambitions?
Lil Baby, real name Dominique Armani Jones, did not go to college. The rapper actually ended his education early when he dropped out of school in tenth grade.
Find out more about Lil Baby and his education by reading on below.
Who is Lil Baby?
Lil Baby was born in Atlanta and was raised by his mother alongside his two older sisters. Despite his female-led immediate family, he spent much of his time alongside older male family members, particularly his mother’s stepfather.
He was a vocal child and gained the nickname of ‘Preacherman’ amongst family. “He always had something to say. And he didn’t have to say a lot, but he always had something to say. I think this is a form of him preaching,” his mother recalls.
‘Preacherman’ became the title of a YouTube documentary that detailed Baby’s life and rise to fame. In the film, his family explains more about the star’s childhood.
As a child, he spent much of his time with older children, which was a cause of concern for his mother. She saw him, she says, as a “Baby”, and it’s this that went on to inspire his stage name.
Baby’s teenage years proved to be challenging for his mother. He became eager to earn money, in, he says “any kind of way.”
The rapper got into legal issues, having his first brush with the law at just twelve years old. He was detained by police on suspicion of burglary, serving ten days in a juvenile detention center.
He faced several further arrests for felonies surrounding guns and drugs. He was sentenced to probation following one of his arrests, but after breaching the conditions of this, he was forced to attend a twelve-month program.
He was involved in an altercation with another inmate during the program and at the age of 18, was sentenced to two years in prison. In 2016, he was released and returned to his mother’s home.
Lil Baby spoke about his experiences of education in an interview with DJ Smallz. When asked if he ever graduated high school, the rapper responded, “I wish.”
“I ain’t gonna say I was bad,” he says of his time in school, though he admits that he was repeatedly suspended. His teachers became so exasperated that they would offer to pass him if he didn’t attend their classes.
He stopped attending high school in the tenth grade.
The rapper has since created a scholarship fund for his former high school, donating $150 thousand to help students. “A majority of the students in these neighborhoods…don’t have support,” he said at the time of the donation.
“They don’t have family who can afford to [send them] to a good college.”
When Lil Baby was released from prison in 2016, he was encouraged by friends to try rapping, rather than returning to crime. The musician has many successful friends, who also hail from Atlanta, including Young Thug, who believed he was capable of a career in music.
Young Thug paid for a studio session for Baby, prompting him to record more music. He soon released his first mixtape, ‘Perfect Timing’.
The mixtape includes singles that feature already well-established rappers, including Lil Yachty, Gunna, Duke, Yogi, Skull-E, and of course, Young Thug. This mixtape attracted his first widespread attention as a rapper.
A full album, ‘Harder Than Ever’, soon followed, which gained Lil Baby yet more attention. Again, Young Thug featured on the album, but this time, Baby had also created a collaboration with the global superstar, Drake.
Since the release of his debut album, Baby’s stardom has only continued to grow. Now, an impressive 57 of his songs have reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while four have made it into the top ten.
In 2018, his track ‘Drip Too Hard’, a collaboration with Gunna, reached number four on the chart and remained in the top 100 for 35 weeks. The track also earned him a Grammy nomination for best rap/sung performance.