Jonathan Lyndale Kirk was born on December 21, 1991, in Cleveland, Ohio. However, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1999, where he would spend most of his early years. He attended and graduated from Vance High School in 2010.
In 2015, DaBaby, known as Baby Jesus at the time, started off his music career by releasing Nonfiction, his debut mixtape. He later followed this up with his God's Work mixtape series, Baby Talk mixtape series, Billion Dollar Baby, and Back on My Baby Jesus Sh*t.
On March 1, 2019, Kirk's debut studio album Baby on Baby, was released via Interscope Records. He is also signed to South Coast Music Group and has a joint contract with both labels. The thirteen-track project features guest appearances from Offset, Rich Homie Quan, Rich the Kid and Stunna 4 Vegas. Baby on Baby debuted at number 25 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the US. Kirk's song "Suge", debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 87 on the chart dated April 13, 2019, and later reached the top 10, on the chart dated June 8, 2019. DaBaby was featured on the cover of XXL's Freshman Class of 2019.
Kirk was involved in an incident in Huntersville, North Carolina where a 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and died soon after. Kirk confirmed his involvement in the shooting and said "he acted in self defense". However, the charge was dropped in March 2019, and Kirk pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor. In January 2020, he was detained and questioned in Miami "in connection with a robbery investigation". He was later arrested after authorities found he had a warrant out in Texas. The warrant stems from a battery charge. According to TMZ and other outlets, members of DaBaby's crew allegedly jumped and robbed a music promoter who only paid DaBaby $20,000 of the $30,000 he was owed for a performance in Miami. Reports state that DaBaby and his associates allegedly took $80 cash, an iPhone 7, and a credit card from the promoter. DaBaby was charged with battery and released from Miami-Dade County jail 48 hours later.
DaBaby featured on various hit songs throughout mid-2019, including Megan Thee Stallion's "Cash Shit" and Quality Control's "Baby", both of which reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. On July 5, 2019, DaBaby was featured on Dreamville Records' newly released compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers, on the opening track, "Under the Sun". He received acclaim for his guest feature, with various publications ranking it as his best verse of 2019, including Complex magazine calling it a "defining breakout moment for a new rap superstar".
In August 2019, he announced that his second album would be titled Kirk, a tribute to his last name. It was released on September 27, and debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Its sole single, "Intro", was also successful, peaking at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Around that time, DaBaby also made notable appearances on singles such as Post Malone's "Enemies", which peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, and on the remixes to Lizzo's "Truth Hurts", and Lil Nas X's "Panini", released August 23 and September 13, 2019, respectively. On October 24, he made a cameo appearance in the music video for Rich Dunk's breakthrough single "High School".