A prank website, Channel22News, wrote that Lil Baby was found dead in a car parked outside his house. This rumor is simply not true: Lil Baby is alive and well. But why does this prank seem credible?
Lil Baby’s Rap Success
Lil Baby, whose real name is Dominique Armani Jones, is an Atlanta, Georgia rapper who rose to fame after releasing his 2017 mixtape titled, “Perfect Timing.” His first studio release, “My Turn” landed him a #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200. He has collaborated with Drake for the hit song “Yes Indeed,” which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and his song “Drip Too Hard” from the mixtape release “Too Hard” hit number four.Lil Baby was hanging out around rappers in Atlanta before he became one himself: as their weed dealer. In his teens, he would hang around backstage or in studios after shows, and offer rappers his wares. He was well-known around Atlanta studios and other rappers were more than happy to do business with him. He says of this time in the studios, “They was getting money, but goddam. They probably get like 30 grand a show, but they’re doing three, four shows, so they come back with 50, 60, and I might win the whole 50.”After Lil Baby’s mentor, Coach K, approached him about rapping and telling the story of his life, he reached out to Young Thug and Gunna to teach him how to rap. It turns out that Lil Baby was a natural, and had a wealth of life experience to draw from in order to write his songs. In 2017, his mixtape took off, and he was soon recording in the studio. His first studio release, “Harder Than Ever ”was released in May of 2018 and went certified gold and platinum, peaking at number 3 on the US charts. His most recent studio release, “My Turn,” went double platinum. In 2019, Lil Baby won the BET award for best new artist, his first award ever. In addition to his own albums, Lil Baby has appeared on numerous other songs with other rappers and singers such as Future, Lil Wayne, Drake, DaBaby, Polo G, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Lil Mosey, Pop Smoke, and numerous others. Many of the songs he collaborated on have hit the US Billboard charts.
Using His Fame And Fortune For Good
More than just a rapper, Lil Baby also looks for ways to give back to the community. Notably, he took to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd in early 2020. He says of his participation in the protests, “That type of shit I would want to do if I wasn’t a rapper. It’s like something that’s going on in history and time.” He released a song about the injustice of police brutality titled “The Bigger Picture.” In the song, he raps about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, as well as his own experience with the police. “They killing us for no reason / Been going on for too long to get even / Throwing us in cages like dogs and hyenas / I went to court, and they sent me to prison.” He claims that all the proceeds from this single were donated to the Bail Project, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Breonna Taylor’s legal team. The rapper has also used the fortune from his success to impact the community in which he grew up. The West end of Atlanta is now an up-and-coming neighborhood, but it hasn’t always been that way, especially when Lil Baby was growing up in it. In March of 2020, Lil Baby donated $150,000 to his former Atlanta school, Booker T. Washington High School, to create a yearly scholarship. The fund, dubbed the “My Turn” Scholarship, will be awarded to a select group of students for displaying “excellence in leadership and in the classroom.” Students at the high school were absolutely stunned with the presentation of the scholarship.
The Rumor Mill
Lil Baby has been the subject of the rumor mill a couple of times in his nascent career. The most recent time that Lil Baby was rumored to be dead was in June of 2020. This was not the first time that rumors of the rapper being dead or even in critical condition from being shot had surfaced. At a concert in March of 2020, in Birmingham, United Kingdom, gunfire erupted around and on the stage at the Bill Harris Arena. After members of the entourage jumped on the stage, promoters for Lil Baby tried to get them out of the area, and a scuffle ensued. Gunshots went off, and the two men who were not authorized to be on stage at the time could be seen fleeing the concert, trying to make a hasty exit.The altercation was captured on video and has been viewed over a million times on YouTube. The concert was then shut down, and the victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The news promptly picked up the story, but would not release the identity of the critically injured person, nor would they give details as to if the injured person was on stage at the time or in the crowd. Because the alleged shooter or shooters were seen on stage trying to flee, rumors quickly surfaced that the injured person was Lil Baby himself. Eventually, it turned out that the injured person was one of the unauthorized stage divers. The shooting victim was later released from the hospital after treatment, and no one was arrested.The most recent rumor of Lil Baby’s death was an internet hoax that circulated quickly thanks to a vague tweet from the artist himself. On June 20, 2020, Lil Baby tweeted “I’m loggin off,” accompanied by a peace symbol emoji. Fans were immediately confused, with hundreds of replies like “why?” “Noooooo whyyyyy????” and Lil Baby did not reply to anyone. This left things up for speculation, that maybe the rapper was logging off the site to make more music or that he was logging off for good. The prank website, Channel22news.com, posted a picture of the young rapper with the caption “Lil baby shot dead.”The fake article below the picture states, “lil baby [sic] was found dead in a car parked by his house. He was found by his friend at 7:34 pm. Sources said he was shot multiple time [sic] in the chest area. We don’t know who the suspect is but the police are on the hunt. Lil baby [sic] was a talented rapper but now he will be missed.” Next to the article, the website also states, “You got owned! Now create a story and trick your friends!” It is unclear who posted the bogus article on the website, but in today’s culture, people more often read the headlines than the entire article, as proven with this “prank.” In the future, his fans and the so-called “twitterati” would do well to follow the advice of Lil Baby himself. In a tweet on July 14, 2020, Lil Baby said, “If you fucc wit me don’t post no weak ass fake news!” Sources