The Music Moment: BabyG

4 mins read

“I’m always listening to my own music. I have around 500 unreleased songs that I just vibe to all the time. I try to listen to other artists as little as I can.”

This is Gildardo Vega—known to his friends as Gil, and known to his Spotify listeners as BabyG. He’s a senior at M-A by day and a recording rapper by night.

His favorite artist is Lil Durk, but his most-listened-to artist is himself. “I listen to my music a lot so I don’t get ideas from other artists and end up sounding the same as them,” he explained. “I do have favorite artists, but they’re not influences on my music. I try to separate myself from other people because what is the point of making music if I sound like somebody else? I try to be myself and be original.”

Vega’s at-home recording studio.

Vega started rapping around the first Christmas of the COVID-19 pandemic when he got an at-home studio setup. The setup, which he still uses today, consists of a microphone, headphones, a laptop, two speakers, and a soundboard.

“At first, it was hard to balance music with school,” he said. “I was putting music before school during the pandemic, but then I decided that I wasn’t messing with that. Now, I make sure to do my schoolwork. I feel like once I handle my business first, then I have a lot of free time to do music, and since my studio is at my house, it’s easy for me to do.”

Vega has three albums out on streaming platforms, all released in 2023, plus a few singles and features. “I’d describe my music as versatile,” he said. “I have turn-up songs for parties, singing songs, and all kinds of different sounds.” With its electronic beats, heavy 808s, and stylized autotune, Vega’s music could generally be categorized as mumble-rap or trap.

His most recent album, Prince Vol. 2, is his favorite of his releases. “By the time I released the new one, I had definitely developed as a rapper,” he said. “That album had new flows, new beats, and new sounds.” Not only is the album his favorite, but it also helped him expand his reach and gain supporters. “It caught a different vibe. It was the album that woke everybody up.” 

When I asked what he likes to rap about, he laughed before saying, “Money and girls.” He paused, then added, “I also love talking about my past life and the trauma I’ve gone through.” There is no shortage of fun on his records, as seen in his recent upbeat track “Hell Nah,” but Vega also opens up on more vulnerable songs like “Time Fade Away,” in which he raps, “Having a child, being a deadbeat, I swear that’s my biggest fear.”

Vega writes all of his own lyrics, but he doesn’t exactly write them. “I just say one thing into the microphone, take a break, say the next thing, and then keep going. I’ve gotten better at it the more I’ve done it, but at first, it was a struggle. I wasn’t as good as I am now, but I’ve developed.”

He continued, “I don’t like [physically] writing because it makes me think too much. When I try to write before recording, I just sit there with my phone wasting my time. But when I don’t write, I can get a song done in ten minutes, and it’s more natural.”

Vega freestyles over pre-made beats made by producers from all over the country, including Detroit and the Bay Area. “I’ll just start humming to find a flow,” he said. “When I find that flow, I’m good, and the song gets started.” Then, he sends the recordings to his friend Mateo, who mixes the audio.

He met most of these producers, Mateo, and other collaborators on Instagram. “Instagram has definitely helped me in a big way,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of connections and gotten a lot of support on there. When people repost me, and it gets out to the right audience, the right people shoot into my DMs.”

Often, Vega can finish a song in under 30 minutes. Sometimes, though, it takes a few days. He explained, “Sometimes I’ll go in to hear a beat, and I just don’t feel it. So I’ll stop, take an hour-long break, and go back in there. Then I’ll do the song and I’ll end up liking it.”

The lesson he takes from this: “Don’t rush your music. If you rush your music, it’s not going to come out how you like it.”

He knows his music isn’t for everyone. He said, “I’m pretty sure there are people who don’t like my music and just don’t want to say it to my face. But, honestly, I want to hear the criticism because you guys are the audience.”

“At the end of the day, though, I drop the music that I like. That might be a bad thing because other people might like the stuff I decide not to put out, but I still go with what I like,” he said.

Vega has never performed his music live, but he’s currently getting ready for his first show, which will be in Houston in May. “I’m not nervous,” he said about his upcoming performance. “I think I got it. But at the same time, I feel like when I get there, I’m going to get nervous.”

When I asked about his post-high school plans, he wanted to make sure I got his message across: “Everybody keeps asking me this! I’m going to college. I’m going to go to school for business or marketing. That’s what I need to do. I’m not about to just not go to school. That would be stupid.”

“I’m going to keep taking music seriously, but I’m not going to rush it,” he continued. “Even if I blow up while I’m in school, I’m still going to finish college, even if it’s online.”

On Valentine’s Day, Vega is releasing his next project: a nine-track Valentine’s-themed tape called Toxic Love. The tracklist includes songs titled “Lonely World” and “NY Girls.”

You can find his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other streaming platforms under the name BabyG. Watch his music videos on his YouTube channel, and stay up to date by following his Instagram account.

Ben Siegel is a junior at M-A and in his second year of journalism. He is a Design Lead for The Mark and manages Bear Tracks, the M-A Chronicle’s weekly newsletter. His opinion piece calling for improved Holocaust education was recognized by CSPA as the best personal opinion about an on-campus issue in 2023. You can find more of Ben’s music journalism at Riff Magazine.

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