Revolution, Streamed: Rappers DaBaby and Lil Baby Make Protest Music for the Masses
In the music video for his new protest single, "The Bigger Picture," hip-hop star Lil Baby zigzags through the streets of his hometown, Atlanta, on a bike during recent protests wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and a face mask that says No Justice No Peace. Interspersed with clips of the artist rapping among protesters is news footage from recent uprisings throughout the country. "You can't fight fire with fire, I know / but at least we can turn up the flames some," Lil Baby, 25, raps through distorted vocals as footage of a police car on fire in downtown Atlanta is shown.
Lil Baby isn't the only chart-topping rapper to respond to the moment. DaBaby, the charming 28-year-old Charlotte, N.C., native whose hit song "Suge" (named for imprisoned mogul Suge Knight) catapulted him to stardom last year, released a new version of the Roddy Ricch-assisted single "Rockstar," dubbed the "BLM Remix," days after the original version topped the Billboard Hot 100. It's the rapper's first No. 1 on the chart.
While the two rappers have little in common besides their similar monikers and occasional collaboration together, their ascension during a time where hip-hop reigns as the dominant genre makes them two of today's biggest music stars. They've collaborated with artists such as Camilla Cabello and scored endorsement deals with companies like Reebok. While neither is considered a politically conscious rapper, they've picked up their pens and rush-released urgent new bars about the uprisings.