Lil Baby addresses the criticism of his graphic Grammy Awards performance.
Performing "The Bigger Picture" at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, Lil Baby had one of the most poignant performances of the night. The Atlanta rapper made a powerful commentary about social justice and police brutality, including a scene where a Black man is pulled over by the police and shot. When the man hits the ground, Lil Baby walked by and began rapping to his song.
The performance has been praised on social media, but a number of critics, mainly people of color, were upset about the portrayal of Black trauma for the entertainment of a predominantly white audience and the Recording Academy. Complex published a piece dissecting if the performance, and other performances like it, do much to convey the artist's intended message. Other outlets have also explored the performance for similar reasons. In a recent interview with Billboard, Lil Baby has addressed the criticism of his Grammy performance.
"I wanted to use a specific situation that would give people an understanding of where I come from," said Lil Baby. "I didn’t really want to use the George Floyd or Breonna Taylor [killings] or something. I wanted to use something that stood by me. [Rayshard Brooks' killing] happened in Atlanta, and I live in Atlanta, and I’ve been in some of those same exact situations."
The rapper said that he's been thinking about this performance since the summer, filming it a few days before the Grammy Awards.
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"It’s a never-ending saga for the people who really live in it but to the world... stuff like that dies down when no one’s talking about it," said Lil Baby. "But me, I’m a person who really has family members who’ve been killed by the police. I really have friends in prison for the rest of their lives for things that they didn’t do. I’m really a part of that outside of music, when I’m not on stage, when I’m at home. That’s my everyday life. I talk to my people in prison, I’m spending millions of dollars on lawyers to get my people out of a messed-up system.
It’s way bigger than just a song to me. It doesn’t die down for me when the world is not rioting or talking about police brutality or the whole problematic system. I’m still thinking about it -- it’s still something that I gotta face. I’m still that same guy who could fall asleep in my car one night, and I could wake up to police in front of me. I’ve been in those types of situations, and thank God I never lost my life in any of them."
Read the full interview at the link below, where Baby also speaks about what it was like to meet Jay-Z.