It’s no secret that the Roaring Fork Valley is brimming with a wide variety of artists, ranging from painters to performers. The live events span many genres, including country/bluegrass, folk, punk and rock. The Valley is not, however, known especially for hip-hop and rap music. This may change, thanks to an ambitious young independent lyricist that goes by the name of Shoota Baby.
Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Shoota Baby journeyed west several years ago after the passing of his grandmother. He “stumbled upon” Glenwood Springs by chance, after getting lost on his way here, and started working at a fast food restaurant.
He is set to perform several shows this summer, including a private party in Aspen, he told The Sopris Sun, where he will open for a world-renowned rapper, Flo Rida. He is also excited to announce that he has a brand new EP which will be released on all streaming platforms this summer.
“I moved here for a new life and a different experience,” said Shoota Baby. “I wanted to see mountains and stuff, because where I am from, everything is flat. So, I wanted a different environment.”
He said that he was inspired by his mother to pursue a career in rap. She had a career producing music before changing her creative profession to poetry. Shoota Baby was also influenced by other big names in the genre, such as Coolio and Lil Wayne. “I was like, ‘Okay, I like this.’ But when I started listening to Lil Wayne, I was like, ‘I like the way this dude raps, I love it,’ and I thought I wanted to do the same thing as him. That is one of my biggest influences, Lil Wayne.”
Like many local independent artists, Shoota Baby has faced ups and downs. He told The Sopris Sun that his biggest personal struggle has been promoting his music on a large scale. He found that sharing music within his interpersonal circle keeps him motivated.
“It is really paying off, because my music is distributed through DistroKid, and I actually get all the money back. They don’t take anything out from me. So, whatever I send out, per stream/per listen all comes back to me. I just send it out and, hopefully, they buy or stream it, and then boom!”
When asked about highlights from his time in the Valley, he spoke about the shows that he has performed and shared a memory of freestyle rapping on the stage at the 2020 X Games with Swae Lee, Slim Jxmmi and Rae Sremmurd. A booking agent that saw the performance asked him to open the following year, which was unfortunately halted due to COVID-19.
“The crowd knew who I was. I was in the front row and one of my friends was like, ‘dude, you should totally freestyle on the mic,’ so everyone just started chanting my name and Swae Lee says to the crowd, ‘This guy here wants to freestyle, what do you think?’ and the crowd went wild. He hands me the mic and I just started rapping. That was one of my biggest accomplishments, so far,” Shoota Baby recounted.
While hopeful for a record deal in the future, he said that he’s happy to continue building his career independently and looks forward to performing more shows with the release of his EP. To keep up with Shoota Baby, find him on Instagram, @shoota__baby