After a stellar 2020, Lil Baby is starting off 2021 in similar fashion. The rapper is featured on TIME’s “100 Next” list, spotlighting leaders of the future.
Lil Baby has already been on a tear this year. He’s been in a Super Bowl commercial, plans on opening a restaurant in Atlanta, and recently previewed a new single, hinting at more things to come. Baby, who once didn’t see the star within himself, is now being recognized by TIME magazine as one of the top 100 emerging leaders.
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This list, described by TIME editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal, is “an expansion of our flagship TIME100 franchise that highlights 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.” Categorized in the lists are artists, phenoms, leaders, advocates, and innovators. Musicians Chloe X Halle and Doja Cat, actors Lakeith Stanfield and John David Washington, and athletes Luka Doncic and Trevor Lawerance are also on the list with Baby.
Each honoree is given a tribute from former TIME100 alumni which TIME says is a testament to the ways that influence flows across generations.
“I learned about Lil Baby from my niece—when my nieces and nephews tell me about someone, I tune in. What a rich, bluesy voice. But I became a true fan after hearing Lil Baby in interviews. He spoke with the wisdom of an old soul that’s also apparent in his lyrics. His song “The Bigger Picture,” released last summer following the killing of George Floyd, is all about nuance and judgment. Others may simply say, “F the police,” but Lil Baby is brave enough to be different: his lyrics note that change may not happen overnight, but we have to start somewhere. The song encourages people to seek understanding, not more misunderstanding, which leads to further anger, pain and violence.”
Mike believes Lil Baby “embodies Atlanta” and will be “tip of the spear that drives Atlanta to the forefront of American—and global—music.”
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Journalist Elaine Welteroth praised Chloe X Halle in her tribute calling the pair “sensational,” and “instantly loveable.”
"The self-taught R&B stars and multi-talented sisters—whose voices literally stopped traffic when they broke into song for me at a Los Angeles restaurant in 2015—earned a coveted early co-sign from Queen Bey, who discovered their breathtaking renditions of her ballads on YouTube. Now, they’re garnering Grammy buzz for their critically praised 2020 album Ungodly Hour, which showcases a sound all their own, with influences ranging from Beyoncé to Billie Holiday, but for the TikTok generation."
What do you think of TIME's new list?