Despite being one of the biggest artists of 2020, Lil Baby knows what it’s like to be at the lowest after serving two years in prison on weapons and drug charges at the age of 19. In a recent interview with NPR, the Atlanta rapper described his experience in jail and disagreed with the punishment of being locked up as a way to teach people a lesson.
“Prison is just sitting you in a room somewhere,” he said. “What does that do to better you for society? What does that do to help you change? To me, jail makes you worse…. You don’t have a leash on your neck, but you got handcuffs on your wrists. You’re not in a dog cage, but you’re in a human cage, which is not too much bigger than a dog cage.
“You live where you use the bathroom at. They feed you when they want to feed you. You eat when they tell you to eat. It’s almost like being a dog.”
Baby also reflected on his protest song “The Bigger Picture,” which cracked the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart amid Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
“I’m definitely proud of it, ’cause it’s like it’s working in a good way for me and for my people,” he said. “And it let me know that my mind state is not all the way wrong — the way I feel and the way I’m thinking.”
Lil Baby's experience serving two years in prison is one reason he sees the criminal justice system as deeply unjust.
"Prison is just sitting you in a room somewhere. What does that do to better you for society? What does that do to help you change?"https://t.co/CnUfGLoF1r
— NPR (@NPR) October 22, 2020
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard thanked Lil Baby for endorsing him in a Facebook post in July.
“Thank you Lil Baby for your endorsement and support,” Howard said. “As we continue to run the race toward a more just and equal system, I look forward to continuing to walk with you towards greater change.”
However, Howard got the wrong impression. Baby later denied the endorsement in a conversation with GQ, saying, “Paul Howard sent me to prison,” claiming they simply had a meeting after being “introduced by a mutual acquaintance.”
Baby said, “If I can sit at a table and really talk to you like I’m human, versus the politics and you in that courtroom, you really might come to reality versus you sending n-ggas goddamn down the road for 500 years.”
During the same interview, he distanced himself from politics completely and revealed “The Bigger Picture” would be the last time he speaks on the subject in his music
“The more I’m seeing what’s up with all that shit, the more I’m like, ‘Let me back up off politics,’” he said. “I don’t want to be no Malcolm X or Martin Luther [King]. I stuck my nose in it. I’m good on that.”