Childhood & Early Life
Lil Bibby was born Brandon George Dickinson Jr., in Chicago, on July 18, 1994, to lower middle-class American parents. He was raised by a single mother, who was a drug addict. Bibby grew up on the East Side of Chicago’s 79th street, which was a predominantly black neighborhood.
His locality was extremely notorious due to the presence of some anti-social elements. Additionally, dealing with a violent drug-addicted mother made life harder for Bibby. His older sister acted as a mother to him, as his real mother mostly spent time consuming drugs. Her sister was also involved in the local drug trade, although she did not consume them herself.
As a result of his unhealthy environment, Bibby grew up to be violent. He got into fights every now and then and his grades in school continued to fall. Apart from listening to music, he played basketball in school and in the streets. However, he could not continue playing basketball, as his neighborhood continued to get filthier.
By the time he was 13 years old, he had already started making money selling drugs on the streets. He once admitted that he was shot many times during his teenage years and that he had also seen many of his childhood friends being taken away to prison.
He drowned himself in music during those troubled times. He also stated that he had read some self-help books at that time, which helped him get back on his feet. By the time he was 16 years old, he had decided to make a career in music.
Soon, he started recording raps on his smartphone and began making music with a few like-minded music enthusiasts. By 2011, he had already started working on his debut mixtape.
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Bibby drew strong inspiration from rappers such as Drake and Jadakiss. Since Kanye West was also from Chicago, Bibby felt a special connection with Kanye. He was so inspired by the rapper that he named his debut mixtape ‘Free Crack,’ after one of Kanye’s most famous singles, ‘Crack Music.’ He also spoke about his early life through his lyrics, just as Kanye does from time to time.
When the mixtape was released, critics appreciated the originality in its verses and stated that Bibby had not taken any direct inspiration from any other rapper. Soon, ‘Vibe’ published a feature on Bibby and featured him on the cover, mentioning him as one of the rappers to watch out for in 2014.
In his debut mixtape, Bibby worked with several struggling rappers and newcomers such as Lil Herb and King L. The music production was handled by Hit-boy, Young Chop, and ‘The Olympicks.’ The tape was hosted by DJ Scream. It became a major hit in the Chicago nightclubs and earned rave reviews from music critics. He was regarded as “mature,” and ‘Vibe’ stated that he had all the qualities of a major artist.
Bibby was appreciated for his deep voice and the songs that featured strong lyrics and heavy base. One of the songs from the album, ‘Whole Crew,’ became a local party anthem. Bibby also shot videos for the songs ‘How We Move,’ ‘Water,’ and ‘Tired of Talkin.’
In late 2013, riding high on the success of ‘Free Crack,’ Bibby announced that the next project would be an EP. He also stated that rapper Drake had called him and told him that he was a big fan of his music. Bibby claimed that he had added two more tracks to ‘Free Crack’ according to Drake’s suggestion, which had delayed its release.
In early 2014, Bibby appeared on several TV and radio shows and enjoyed his new-found celebrity status for the first time. He also performed live freestyle on a radio show. He was included in ‘XXL’s ‘Freshman Class of 2014.’ Young Thug had canceled at the last moment and that was how Bibby got the opportunity to be featured on the list. In an interview with ‘Billboard,’ Bibby said that he was working on his EP but was waiting for a few more features.
In mid-2014, he was featured in several singles by Juicy J. In August, he released his sophomore mixtape, ‘Free Crack 2,’ which was hosted by DJ Drama. He featured guest spots by established rappers such as Wiz Khalifa, Anthony Hamilton, Juicy J, and Kevin Gates. The tape was made available for digital download and accumulated more than a 100 thousand downloads.
The tape also received wide critical acclaim, with some critics calling it better than the first one. The album also showed Bibby’s growth as a rapper and a music artist, as the lyrics were deep and the music was more soulful. With this humongous success, Bibby continued to record his third mixtape, ‘Free Crack 3.’
The tape ‘Free Crack 3’ was released in late 2015 and featured guest appearances by stars such as R Kelly, Common, Herb, and Juicy J. It was a critical and commercial success. It was downloaded 272 thousand times.
By 2016, several labels approached Bibby for collaborations. In August 2016, Bibby released his debut EP, ‘Big Buckz,’ via ‘Grade A Productions.’ In March 2017, Bibby released another EP, ‘FC3: The Epilogue.’ Both the EPs were major hits and strengthened his position in the highly competitive American rap industry.
In early 2018, Bibby announced his debut studio album, ‘Free Crack 4.’ It is set to be released by the label ‘Kemosabe Records’ and will also be his first commercial release.
Lil Bibby was rumored to be in a relationship with social-media star Johanie Taylor back in 2016, but the couple denied the rumors. A video that appeared in early 2016 showed them in bed, in each other’s arms. Following this, the couple confirmed the rumors.
Bibby’s mother still lives with him. She has quit drugs. However, according to Bibby, she has grown more violent over the years.