Sada Baby is one of those artists who refuses to settle for anything less than great, spending his waking hours in the studio perfecting his craft any chance he can. Hailing out of Detroit, Michigan, the buzzing MC arrives on the scene with his standout raspy voice, aggressive flows, braggadocious bars, impeccable wordplay, and undeniable authenticity—creating music that’s sure to captivate anyone listening.
In 2018, Sada broke through from the underground into the mainstream light with his viral smash “Bloxk Party” with Drego. Two years later, his song “Whole Lotta Choppas” became one of the most trending songs on TikTok, even catching the attention of Nicki Minaj who went on to hop on the remix to the record.
Regardless of what the media or blogs are reporting, Sada Baby stays 100% true to himself… and also keeps to himself. Coming from where he comes from and the type of lifestyle he was living prior to music, Sada’s whole perspective on music is to simply take care of himself and his people, unbothered by any outside noise that may hinder or deter him from that path along the way.
Most recently, Sada released his highly-anticipated single with Detroit native Big Sean called “Little While,” produced by Hit-Boy. On the 14th episode of Shirley’s Temple, I sat with Detroit’s own Sada Baby at Matrix Studios in Los Angeles to discuss scrapping his album after hearing Big Sean’s, the producers he’s working with, recording 10-20 songs a day, discovering he could rap at age 23, basing all his records off his friends’ reactions, having 30 something artists on his label Big Squad, being a fan of The Internet & Brent Faiyaz, collaborating with Hoodrich Pablo Juan, forthcoming album ‘Him Not Them’, his close relationship with King Von, and more!
How you feeling with everything?
I’m cool, just working. Ain’t nothing. Getting this album done, redoing it.
Last time you told me after you heard Big Sean’s album, you scrapped your album.
What was going through your head? Are we ever going to hear that music?
Yeah, it’s going to come out in other forms and bodies of work, mixtapes. Me, my artist, and my manager and the security I had with me at the time, we were real impressed by what his album was sounding like. I felt he had it figured out as far as the direction he wanted his sound to be. I had a bunch of strong songs I could’ve made into an album, but I wanted to put some more feeling into it. Really have a sense of direction of what I want to do with my sound. I don’t think none of my shit sounds the same, but trying to sound even more different than I have been sounding. I’m doing different shit: playing guitars, speaking Spanish.
You play guitar in the studio?
I’ve been trying to. I’m learning, I’ve had some lessons.
What beats do you like? What producers are you working with?
I work with a lot producers: Helluva, Bankroll Got it, Trauma Tone, Lee Chapin, CoalCash Black, Von Jose.
He did “Whole Lotta Choppas” right?
Yup. I’m trying to think: Juan Walker, DTB, Tracks. I’m trying to get them all out because as many as there are, it’s not that many. Knox This That Wave, By Classic, Frontline, him and Jones. I got a lot of different producers I fuck with. Brizzy, Womatic. I recently got a pack from Tay Keith. I like the beats I got from him for sure, we got some shit. June James! He’s one of my original producers for sure. I’m glad I didn’t forget him, he would’ve been mad. His producer LilJu.
LilJuMadeDaBeat? I love him.
Yeah, for sure. I started working with him too, he got good shit. He got some shit man. He uses my voice for one of his beat tags too. He used my voice as a tag, then Tracks uses my voice as his main tag. He only got my tag. Who else sends me beats? Because I record anywhere from 10 to 20 songs a day.
Talk about your work ethic because you’re always in the studio. Where did this drive come from?
I look at it like all the other shit I was doing, I wasn’t too successful. Basketball halfway… I started with the music shit and saw I was good at making songs, because I always used to freestyle when I was drunk. As far as really rapping, I didn’t figure I was good at it until late.
How old were you?
Like 22 or 23. When I started doing the music shit, it was rough for a while. I had made no money, but then it turned around. Shit, I can make money off this shit like I am? And it’s coming in consistently? People actually taking to me and liking what the fuck I do with it? Then that’s what I need to spend my time doing. Because all the other shit… I love to play basketball.
You still nice with it though?
Hell yeah, but that ain’t what a n*gga get paid for. That’s not what got me comfortable or gave me the opportunity to make sure all my people good when I’m asleep.
I’m looking at your wrist, you got 3 diamond bracelets and a watch.
It’s 5 bracelets and a watch. Hutch Water.
How much is it?
A lot! I worked for that. Me going to the studio, that’s what changed my life. If that’s what the fuck changed my life, I need to spend the bulk of my time doing that. Sharpening my blade and getting better, trying to come with shit they’re not expecting me to come with. Since I’ve been coming out here, I come 2.5 weeks at a time to work. The last trip I was here, I did 123 songs. Right now since I’ve been here, I’m up to 70 or 80 since I’ve been here.
“Whole Lotta Choppas” blew up, but that was made two years back right?
Yeah, I held it before I dropped it.
Do you know in your head what songs are going to hit? Are you strategic with this?
I base all my songs off my homeboy’s reactions. Juan, my little brother DZ, Stewie, Steez. I base all my songs off my people. I be telling my fans: I don’t make the music for y’all, y’all just happen to like it. I make the music for me and my homeboys, they fuck with it. I’m glad that my fans like what I like to put out because I’m not doing it to please nobody. I’m doing it so me and my homeboys could have some shit to feel good about. When they tell me 3 or 4 times to play a certain song—“let me hear that one again” or “man, put that on”—that’s how I know it’s one of the ones. They ain’t never failed with it, I pick all my songs like that. I know what song sticks out, I have to keep recording because that’s how I get in my groove.
I would imagine all of it is hard though.
For sure! Up to my standards on what I’d release, damn near 80% of it is that good. There’s other songs I know I was trying shit out, and it’s still not bad. It’s still better than some other shit n*ggas putting out, it’s just shit I wouldn’t release under me…. until I do some more to it, change this or change that.
Who do you listen to, besides yourself?
I got literally 32 artists on Big Squad. It’s a bunch of them n*ggas.
Are they from Detroit or all over?
Detroit, Florida, Colorado, fucking Minnesota, all kinds of shit. We’re all in touch, I try to help them with whatever I can. I don’t have contracts on them, that’s how I want it. We fuck with each other that tough. They all have potential to be something. I be listening to all my artists’ music whenever I can. I listen to my little brother DZ’s shit. I listen a lot of Skilla Baby’s shit, all my other artists. I’m listening to Nook, I’m listening to OMB Peezy. I listen to a lot of singing shit too though, like The Internet and Brent Faiyaz. I love Sonder, Sonder hard. Jazmine Sullivan, Rihanna, I listen to a lot of singing shit for sure.
Are we going to get R&B records from you?
I always drop R&B type of songs, but I got whole studio albums full of R&B shit. I got a whole album I did with my cousin Ashley Sorrell and my artist Skilla Baby called Act 3. Act 3 is Ashley, Casada and Treyvon, that’s all our first names and there’s 3 of us. There’s 15 or 16 songs on there, all R&B. I got Rotimi on there. I’ma release shit like that at some point in time. I got a lot of good R&B songs on my album. I got shit with Sevyn Streeter. I got good shit, I got really really good R&B music.
How do you pick your collabs? ‘Cause I know you don’t fuck with everyone.
Yeah, you know I don’t like people at all. When you first get into this shit, they tell you to put a smile on and be cool. You gotta be fake, that’s what they tell you. I‘ll never do it. It’s either I like you or I don’t. It’s not even so much as a like thing, it’s respect. If I respect you, I respect you. If I think you a bitch, soft as hell, there’s that. There’s certain n*ggas I fuck with and I listen to their music. It’ll be shit I’m playing the car. If I see a n*gga or I got the chance to speak to whoever the fuck we just listened to, I’ma tell them. I be giving these n*ggas flowers, like Fredo [Bang]! Me and Fredo, we’ve been cool for a long ass time. That’s why we got a few songs, I fuck with it.
If I like your music, we could work. If I like your music and who you be around can’t conflict about who I be around, because a lot of shit be deeper than some music and taking pictures. Or “Nah bro, that ain’t got nothing to do with us. We still could work.” Nah n*gga, it do got something to do with everything. I’m straight. All the friendly shit, being where everybody else be at at the club—7 rappers in the studio, only 2 n*ggas rapping and n*ggas bullshitting… nah. I be doing my 1-2 with my people. I got enough homeboys. I got a lot of homeboys.
So no new friends?
I meet motherfuckers, be cordial. I expect everybody else to have their own homeboys too. Don’t be coming over here trying to kick with my n*ggas. It’s not just me who doesn’t like people, we don’t like people. I got my homeboys and if I hear one of them n*ggas take a liking to a certain artist or they listen to their music, with my platform I try to reach out to that artist if there’s no conflict and do a song with them.
What features do you have on the album?
It’s gon’ be some shit on there man, we got a few people. I can’t let the cats out the bag, but we got some shit coming.
When you were working in the kitchen or the carwash for a day, did you ever think you’d be here now with a Gold plaque?
Nah. Nope, I couldn’t imagine that. That was a goal of mine so I feel a little bit accomplished, but I know I got to work some more.
How did you celebrate?
Right. What did we do? We were at the studio. I love it, that’s where I go everyday. Everyday, I don’t miss a day. I come out here just to record, work on my album. Go home for a couple days, make sure everybody’s straight there, then come back here.
A huge part of this show is mental health. How’s your mental state?
When it first kicked off and everybody had to stay in, I was straight. I was smoking, playing the game, watching TV. I always had shows. Shit, we had shows during COVID. I did the livestream shit, that shit was fun. We did that 2 or 3 times. I did it in Miami and Detroit, that shit was fun. We had real shows during the COVID. Certain shit was open, motherfuckers were doing private locations, I still was getting booked.
Are you excited to perform again?
Always! We love going to the shows. I love going because n*ggas don’t be getting booked, so that’d be my ah-ha. Bitch ass n*ggas, y’all never got no shows. I always got a show.
How crazy do they go for “Whole Lotta Choppas”?
They cut up, but I don’t ever perform it. I play the first verse, then I’ll cut it.
No way, you don’t like it?
Nah, it ain’t that. That just ain’t the show.
Last time I interviewed Hoodrich Pablo Juan, I asked him about the record you guys have. He goes, “he said, ‘I need money and I need it now!’”
That’s my boy. I been fucking with Juan for going on 3 years. In Atlanta, I met him down in Atlanta. We was recording in the same studio, somebody took me back there to meet him. We kicked it and we did that record that night.
And you called the record “Hoodrich Scuba”!
Yeah, I tend to do that. When it’s my first time doing a song with somebody, I tend to merge something from their name and my name. I damn near always do that.
Why is your album called Him Not Them?
‘Cause I am. I am him, not them. I don’t sound like them, look like them, dress like them, smell like them. Whoever, I don’t want to press shit on somebody. I’m just saying, I’m not the norm. All the other shit that motherfuckers feel the need to do, I don’t. I want all this good ass music, this strong ass music to carry my name for years and years and years when I’m gone. This shit about my legacy and my people, nothing else. I’m a God-fearing man. I went to church, you can’t blame me for how I was raised.
Did religion play a lot in how you came up?
Hell yeah, for sure. I was in choir and all that. It is what it is. A n*gga can be off in whatever he’s into, just like I’m off into whatever I’m into and was into. Still pray, still say his grace before his food. All types of shit.
What do you pray for?
What I need to pray for. You gotta protect. When you’re covered by the blood man, you make sure you’re in touch with that shit. On my mama.
You like to medicate with weed, what do you do for self-care?
I’m straight, I smoke weed 25/8. I be minding my business. It ain’t too much I gotta worry about and what I’m worried about, I can handle it. So I’ll be alright man. I talk to my family all the time, they filled with laughs. We’ll be alright.
How many blunts do you smoke in a day?
It really depends on the day, but I smoke a lot. Probably a half, almost an ounce. Some shit like that.
I just want to touch on your song with King Von.
Long live King Von! Love you n*gga. You my motherfucking boy, you know it. That’s my n*gga.
How did y’all tap in?
I met him through Durk in Atlanta. We were around each other a couple of times. Me, him and Booka got cool. I ain’t got no issue with Booka. We all used to be around each other because when I used to be signed to Tee, Tee and Durk used to be doing their 1-2. They’re doing their Blood shit. Me, Book, and Von would be with each other from time to time. Me and bro kicked it, we ended up kicking it harder than me, him, and Book. My rapport really was stronger with Von, he was my boy man. If I call, he’d answer the phone. If he don’t answer, he’d call back. Vice versa, he’d call me. We still have unreleased music.
Damn, we ever going to get it?
I don’t know how that’s gon’ play out. That was my n*gga though, he was cool. He was really, really cool.
How did you feel when you found out he passed?
That shit was tough as hell. At first they’re saying he got shot, I didn’t see nothing about it on the internet so I’m thinking it’s fake. Right after that, my cousin had said something in our group chat. They’re saying he got shot. When I went to check it, I didn’t see nothing. 20 minutes later, shit popped up everywhere saying he’s trying to make it to surgery. Not long after that, they‘re saying he was dead. At first, I really wasn’t trying to believe it.
You good though?
Yeah, that’s my boy. We gon’ be alright.