Supermodel Linda Evangelista was once quoted, “We have this expression, Christy [Turlington] and I: We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” It appears that the expression travels well; while rapper Lil Baby is no supermodel, he’s set similarly high standards on his work. The in-demand Atlanta rapper tweeted his asking price to do guest verses for his contemporaries in June, asserting that “At this point it’s safe to say I want $100k for a feature.” He doubled down over the weekend, going from hypothesizing about it, to declaring anything less an offense.
At this point it’s safe to say I want 100k for a feature 😬
— Lil Baby (@lilbaby4PF) June 26, 2020
“Ima feel offended if you want a verse from me but don’t got a $100k,” he tweeted. “Respect my hustle.” He followed that up with his belief that “$100k cheap by the way. Do your streaming research.” Both tweets ended up getting deleted but were preserved for posterity by obsequious drama monger Akademiks, who got a screenshot and cheerleaded, “Which broke ass rapper offered Lil Baby under $100k for a feature?” He also called rappers cheap and criticized them for “talking big in their records” because as we all know, no rapper has ever lied about how much money they make in the whole history of rap.
While it’s pretty funny to imagine Lil Baby turning down more money than most of us make in a year because it doesn’t meet his arbitrary asking price, it’s important to note that Quality Control, the same label Baby is on, is currently being sued by their biggest act, Migos, for withholding royalties. Rappers talk big because that’s what sells — that doesn’t often equate to actual net worth. Besides, most of that money is being fronted by labels, who loan rappers an advance when they sign them to recording contracts. That often translates to six or seven figures of debt for folks who may not even have had a bank account before — and has so often resulted in rappers ending up stuck in bad deals, struggling to recoup for even their biggest hits.
Lil Baby may feel like he has the option to set his worth now, but he should definitely be taking whatever money there is to get — there are a lot more MC Hammers in the game than Jay-Zs.