Lil Baby’s appearance at Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids’ Choice Awards has drawn backlash, as critics have spoken out against the network for allowing the rapper to perform a song containing suggestive lyrics. On Saturday (March 4), the Atlanta rapper performed his hit single “California Breeze” at the awards show, which took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, in front of the predominantly underage crowd.
In response to the set, several social media users lashed out at Nickelodeon and the Kids’ Choice Awards for their decision to book Lil Baby for the kid-centric event. Despite Lil Baby performing an edited version of the track, some questioned why the network and show organizers would allow such content to be presented to their audience.
However, others saw those critiques as contradictory, arguing that many parents allow their children to listen to music with explicit lyrics and deeming the outrage of those troubled by the performance as being “selective.” A segment of fans also found the idea of Lil Baby performing at the Kids’ Choice Awards as amusing, given the content of his music and the demographic that Nickelodeon attracts.
Lil Baby’s presence at the Kids’ Choice Awards appeared to be well-received by those in attendance, as the crowd could be seen bopping and singing along to the song as the rap star pranced around the stage while flanked by a harem of dancers. Towards the end of the performance, the 4pf rep brought his two sons, 8-year-old Jason and 4-year-old Loyal, onstage, which made for a family-friendly moment and cast the 28-year-old in a fatherly light.
In 2022, the hit-maker enjoyed a series of big wins that solidified his status as one of the biggest stars in the game. In October, he dropped his third studio album It’s Only Me, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 216,000 album-equivalent units sold in its first week. The album includes features from Nardo Wick, Young Thug, Fridayy, Future, Rylo Rodriguez, Jeremih, EST Gee, and Pooh Shiesty. It also spawned the singles “In a Minute,” “Heyy,” and the Future-assisted track “From Now On.”
Weeks following the album’s release, Lil Baby was honored with his own day in his hometown of Atlanta. The Atlanta City Council announced Nov. 13 as “Lil Baby Day” in light of the rapper’s charitable and philanthropic contributions to the city.
Watch Lil Baby’s performance of “California Breeze” at the 2023 Kids’ Choice Awards below.