On this week’s episode of our podcast Monday to Monday, host Mike Boyd sits down with rapper 2K Baby to discuss the 19-year-old rapper’s rapidly burgeoning career. Following his recent signing to Warner Brothers, 2K discusses his journey navigating the industry with only a few songs available on most streaming platforms, advice for prioritizing financial responsibility and gaining buzz off of organic freestyle videos.
2K Baby Talks ‘Pregame Rituals,’ Financial Responsibility and Selflessness
“If you around me and you in my life, you my family”
2K Baby is from Louisville, KY, and emphasizes the importance of his home in how he maintains his team. He didn’t always want to be a rapper. “I only started doing [music] though because one of my homies got locked up. So I was just doing it really just to say ‘Free my bro’, y’know what I’m saying, at the beginning of every song. And then by the time he came home, probably like half a year later, I had already had a buzz, had the hood on me, had the city on my back, y’know what I’m saying, so I just kept rolling with it,” he says. He didn’t think about doing music before, partially because of the lack of successful rappers coming out of Louisville: “Ain’t nobody in my city ever made it from no music, for real.”
His team was and continues to be a major contributor to his success as an artist. “My big bro YC’s like the first person to like, I guess, give me that confidence. He the first person to tell me like, ‘Nah, you got it. This you. Don’t do nothing else. You got it. Stay on this, this is gonna work.’” And he was absolutely right.
2K goes on to discuss his upcoming EP, titled Pregame Rituals, which will be the rapper’s first project available on Spotify. At the moment, he only has 4 songs available to stream on the platform. But his confidence in his music is a big part of its success. “All my songs be timeless songs,” he says, before adding, “I know what’s in my songs, I know what they worth.”
As someone who only recently popped off, 2K Baby provides some unique insight into effective advice for up and coming rappers. “I just tell everybody, just keep working. Just try to make the best music you can make. Make sure you love your music before you expect anybody else to love your music. Just work, for real,” he says. He also emphasizes the importance of setting your own pace and waiting for others to follow, rather than the other way around. “You be the wave, you be the move. Don’t be looking for the move. You be the move,” he says.
2K recently signed with Warner Brothers, and his perception of the label is deeply positive. “It’s a blessing,” he says of the signing, before adding, “Being able to get my little siblings shoes, or clothes whenever they want. Because I couldn’t do that. So just, all that stuff. Is just crazy, being able to do that, for real.” Unlike with some other artists, 2K Baby fully maintained control of his path and his team after signing. “It didn’t get complicated or nothing like that when I got with the label. I stayed in control of my situation. I ain’t let nobody come in and rearrange my team or none of that,” he says.
2K’s rapid rise to prominence has helped frame his mindset regarding money and fame. He emphasizes financial responsibility, telling Boyd, “Gotta see the bigger picture. Gotta think long term. Gotta think, what’s gonna be the best decision for your position five years from now? Ten years from now?” And his treatment of his money is extremely selfless and unfocused on himself. “I don’t really spend most of it on myself. I spend it on everybody that you see around me,” he says. 2K Baby’s life has changed rapidly, and he is acutely aware of that dynamic. “Not too long ago I was just a regular dude. I was in the same shoes some of my supporters are in. In my room at my mama’s house, at my grannie’s house, watching my favorite artist on my phone,” he says.
They conclude the episode by discussing 2K Baby’s upcoming EP. He is deeply excited about the project; you can hear in his voice how proud he is of every track. When asked about his favorite track, he has to think for a long time. “My favorite song on the EP? I ain’t gonna lie, they all bangers. Like they are all really bangers.” He ultimately lists almost every song on the project before saying, “That’s my favorite song,” about each one. Make sure to look out for Pregame Rituals, out March 20th.
2K is deeply generous and caring to those around him. He closes on a note of selflessness. “I felt like I had all these people I had to feed and I had no food,” he says. Boyd responds: “And it was mostly family or friends?”
“If you around me and you in my life, you my family,” 2K responds.
If you loved this episode and want to hear Boyd chop it up with other rappers, managers and producers, make sure to check out last week’s episode, when he sat down with singer Trevor Daniel.