Childhood & Early Life
SahBabii was born 24 February 1997 in Chicago’s South Side division to Delval Valdery and Kimberly Valdery who lived in ‘Wentworth Gardens’ housing project. Spending his childhood in Chicago’s crime-infested South Side, SahBabii got unwittingly involved in nefarious and criminal acts as his father was a senior member of a notorious street gang.
He also picked up the skills needed for hustling and grinding in a short span of time by meticulously observing his father.
After spending the first 13 years of his life in Chicago, he moved to the sprawling metropolis of Atlanta so to live with his elder brother, T3, and father. He considers his father and T3 to be the two biggest inspirations in his life, and on his music.
Following his relocation to Atlanta, SahBabii enrolled in Sylvan Hills Middle School where he started penning song lyrics and making music while pursuing his studies.
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For inspiration, SahBabii looked up to renowned rappers like Cash Out and Young Thug who had started their musical careers in Atlanta. He often came across his favorite rappers at the neighborhood grocery store.
SahBabii started rapping as he was further encouraged by the accomplishments of many teen rappers from Atlanta, such as Money Savage, Polo Boyz and Rich Kidz.
He began composing music under his byname, SahBabii, and his rapper brother T3helped him greatly in recording and producing the tracks. The very first song he recorded in 2012 was titled, “Rodeo,” and it was produced independently (without the backing of a noted record label).
Rodeo eventually went on to become a chartbuster, registering more than 60,000 views on YouTube. In 2012, he came up with his debut mixtape, “Pumping Ain’t Easy,” which garnered 100,000 downloads and views in combination. His next mixtape, “Glocks & Thots,” was recorded in 2013 and published in 2014. It garnered respectable views as well as downloads.
However, SahBabii was not at all satisfied with the reception of his mixtapes. As a result, his confidence took a beating and he felt utterly stressed out and depressed. He started smoking pot and cigarettes, and almost became hairless.
He decided to take a long break as he felt that he was not in the right frame of mind to continue recording or producing music. He got back into the swing of things in 2016, following a lull of three-years.
SahBabii started working on a new mixtape, S.A.N.D.A.S, and recorded nearly all the tracks of the album in his brother T3’s bedroom. He used a music software application called, ‘Cubase’. In fact, the microphone he used while singing the tracks was broken.
Being an avid fan of the TV channel, ‘Animal Planet’, he interspersed the song, “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick” with bird chirpings just to plug the gaps. The software helped him to draw out slow, lilting cadences from YouTube that he superimposed on the track while T3 completed the recording immaculately, lending to it a lustrous patina.
Once SahBabii was done with recording the song, he uploaded a 15-second snippet on Instagram, just to gauge the response. He had almost forgotten all about uploading the number till he saw the massive response for track on the social media platform. He now had an instinctive feeling that his new song might prove to be his trump card.
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SANDAS, SahBabii’s 3rd mixtape which featured, “Pull up Wit’ Ah Stick”, was released in October 2016. The song was not only viewed and downloaded by millions on the Internet, but also got the Atlanta youngsters grooving. The track could be heard playing in discotheques, nightclubs, and on almost every local radio station.
The track which featured ‘Loso Loaded’ became the rage on SoundCloud, recording millions of views, and a musical footage put out in February 2017 had notched up 12-million views by May end. SahBabii flew to London with Young Thug to participate in the ‘Boy Meets World’ music tour and met legendary rapper Drake.
The Canadian rapper, Drake, who had met SahBabii during the Boy Meets World tour expressed his desire to enrich “Pull up Wit Ah Stick” by suffixing a verse. Warner Bros Records signed SahBabii up for a recording deal in March 2017. His track had received a whopping 10-million views by then.
SahBabii travelled to New York City with a large entourage, including his parents and older brother T3, to finalize the contract with Warner Bros. Records. The New York trip turned out to be eventful as he gave his first public performance at New York University followed by a performance at ‘Lust’, a strip club in Brooklyn.
Eminent contemporary rappers, ‘Wiz Khalifa’, ‘Fetty Wap’, and ‘T-Pain’ found the track, “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick” good enough for remixes. It was proclaimed in May 2017 that SANDAS would be reworked upon to include fresh tracks and rereleased under the Warner Bros label.
SahBabii has a weak spot for animals, which is reflected in his tracks, including “King of the Jungle”, “Chit Chat” and of course, “Pull Up Wit’ Ah Stick”
Apes are his favorite fauna species and ‘King Kong’ is one of his preferred movies.
He dreams of becoming the next Michael Jackson and is working sincerely to realize his dream.
He records all his songs under the alias SahBabii which was given to him by his aunt TeeBaby, who took the first half from Shaheem’s name and added ‘Babii’ from the latter part of her own name.