Rising: SahBabii | Feature | Live | MN2S

A self-proclaimed individualist, anime lover, and video game enthusiast, SahBabii brings a unique personality to the Atlanta rap scene. But the fame SahBabii now carries on his shoulders didn’t come easy.

Saaheem Valdery, best known under the stage name SahBabii, was born and raised in Chicago for 13 years before moving to Atlanta, a relocation that would shape the arc of his life and career. However, SahBabii wasn’t the first of his family with musical aspirations, as his brother’s music career was the original reason for the family’s move. Inspired by his brother and fellow hip-hop artist, T3, and other Atlanta artists such as Young Thug and Cash Out, whom he told the New York Times in a 2017 profile that he would often see around the city, Sahbabii made his own venture into the world of rap.

SahBabii released the debut mixtapes Pimpin Ain’t Easy in 2012 and Glocks & Thots in 2013. These releases didn’t gain the traction that he was hoping for and led to a somewhat dark time in the rapper’s life. Valdery has been candid regarding his struggles prior to stardom: “I was stressed out…I had a bald spot, I was smoking a lot, cigarettes and weed. I was real depressed,” he told the NY Times. However these struggles pushed the young talent towards becoming a talented hip-hop artist now reaching millions of fans across the globe

Citing his initial drive to gain notoriety, SahBabii soon realized the music he was creating had the potential to be more. Recognizing that he could transform his passion into a career, the rapper set out to create what would become his debut record, S.A.N.D.A.S. Recorded on a broken microphone in older brother T3’s room, SahBabii created the song and album that would transform his career entirely independently. “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick”, from S.A.N.D.A.S., catapulted the artist into viral stardom following a 15-second preview clip posted on Instagram.

Adhering to a self-proclaimed artistic mandate of “Melodic Sounds NO TRAP BEATS!” the majority of SahBabii’s S.A.N.D.A.S plays to a backdrop of chilled production and rhythms, in line with his hit track, “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick”, a unique contrast with the menacing sound favoured by many contemporary trap artists. Today, “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick” has been remixed by widely celebrated rappers including T-Pain, Wuski, Fetty Wap, Wiz Khalifa, and Lil Wayne, putting SahBabii amongst legendary company. 

SahBabii’s success is a family matter. Each of his records has been released under his family-owned label, Casting Bait Music Group. SahBabii’s brother, T3, even created the anime-inspired cover art for S.A.N.D.A.S., and his father has been heavily involved in his management since the very beginning. The rapper did briefly flirt with the major-label world when Warner Brothers eventually signed the viral sensation for a reported $2 million. Following the deal, SahBabii remastered and released S.A.N.D.A.S. in the summer of 2017.

After a short-lived partnership and citing creative differences, SahBabii left Warner Brothers and brought his work back home to Casting Bait Music Group, where he released his second album Squidtastic in 2018. In the spirit of his humble beginnings focused on originality, sitting in T3’s bedroom with a broken mic, SahBabii maintains that independent labels are the best choice for him: he has remarked to Complex that “the whole independent thing is great ‘cause you just got your own ideas.”

The freedom of an independent label allowed him to continue channeling his interests in anime, animals, and video games into his highly individualistic music with tracks like “Anime World” and “Squidirific.” To the surprise of many fans, SahBabii announced in 2018 that his next record, Wolverine, would be his last. We didn’t hear a great deal from SahBabii until February 2019, when he released the EP 3P, an eagerly anticipated taste for all fans anxiously awaiting Wolverine. 

What’s in store for SahBabii now and post-3P? The artist has thrown out ideas from studying computer science and creating video games to becoming the next Michael Jackson, but he has remained active within the music scene, collaborating with UK grime artist AJ Tracey and hanging out with fellow rapper Trippie Redd. He recently posted (and quickly deleted) an Instagram post featuring an all-new album cover with the title “Barnacles”, hinting that fans can expect exciting new developments from the rapper in 2020.

MN2S represents SahBabii and 1633 other Live Acts. View artist bio

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