How Quality Control Made Lil Baby the Latest Star of a Rap Dynasty

The first reference I can remember to Baby is on Young Thug’s “Thief in the Night” in 2015, right around the time he was going to jail. What was your guys’ relationship with Baby, and Thug’s relationship with Baby, at that point?P: I already had a relationship with Lil Baby before he even went to prison. Baby has been around me since he was maybe, like, 15. My best friend sort of helped raise Baby. Baby been around, he was around before Migos. He just wasn’t an artist.And I’ve been knowing Thug since Thug was young. All of us from Atlanta round about the same side. Everybody sort of knows all the same people.In the 2017 profile of Coach in The New Yorker, Baby is casually mentioned as one of the artists you guys were developing. But really the focus in that piece is Migos, and Yachty is the next guy that’s up and coming.In the documentary, Thug is presented as more of a life mentor and a childhood friend. There’s not a lot of discussion about how Thug might have influenced Baby’s music. You guys had a front row seat for Baby’s development. Was there a lot of collaboration between them as Baby was finding his sound and figuring out his style?P: Well, I mean, Baby used to be in the studio with them all the time, so I’m pretty sure that he was observing and watching.. They definitely got two different styles to me, and they are two great artists in their own lane, and that created their own flow and their own style.Early on, as he spoke in the documentary, when he first started recording he was with Marlo. They were both feeding off each other, and were new at rapping. And also, you gotta remember Baby was in the studio with Migos, and Rich the Kid, PeeWee Longway. He was in the studio everyday, observing these guys. So in my mind, I would think he’s just soaking up the work ethic, just seeing how everybody works because he was around them everyday.Coach, in the documentary you identify “My Dawg” as this moment where you see Baby level up. Aside from hitting on a great hook, do you think that there were specific things in the flow that signified his maturation?Coach: He found his pocket, he found his swag. We put out a couple of projects from him, but it’s like that moment, “Oh, shit, he has arrived”. And you can hear all the confidence. Because you got to understand, when we started really developing him, P took it upon himself like, I’m going to develop this kid. Because like he said, he’s been knowing Baby since he was a kid, and he wanted to give Baby this opportunity to get out the streets. So the first projects, Baby might go cut ten records, and P will say, oh, give me them ten records, and went and put a project out. So he’s building the confidence as we’re putting projects out.