Last week, comedian Lil Duval linked DaBaby to Ludacris, labeling DaBaby “this generation’s Ludacris,” and the two trended for the greater part of a day. While fans discussed whether the two musicians were true counterparts, DaBaby prepared for his overstuffed BET Awards performance, and Ludacris traveled to space in the latest Fast & Furious film. Fortunately, Billboard was able to speak with DaBaby on the red carpet of the BET Awards and ask him about it, allowing him the opportunity to clear the air.
Although DaBaby didn’t outright reject the premise, he was careful to point out how limited — and limiting — it is. “I feel like that’s too commonly used,” he said. “I think people use that too lightly. I was inspired by Ludacris’ creativity with his music videos. [I was inspired] by a lot of people. Not only people like Ludacris but people like Nelly. I mean, everybody. I feel like as the generations unfolded, people from every era was inspired by somebody from the era before them. Even when it boils down to 50 Cent, Eminem, and Mystikal, everybody’s videos used to be crazy. Busta Rhymes’ videos used to be crazy [too]. So I definitely was inspired by Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, and several other artists with their music videos.”
DaBaby, who rose to prominence after releasing the humorous video for his song “Walker Texas Ranger,” may be onto something. At the very least, he’s far from the first younger artist to draw inspiration from his forefathers; Uproxx even has a show dedicated to the subject. Modern musicians have looked to many of the legends of the past for inspiration, from Busta to Eminem to Missy, because if you’re going to take from anyone, you should take from the best.