It’s not every day that an artist is recognized for their success outside of music. In fact, there’s an unusual dichotomy between what rappers do and what they’re celebrated for. While most of today’s key players in hip-hop are hard at work scoring new milestones in their careers, some acts are doing the groundwork through community outreach and philanthropic giving that’s creating an impact beyond their music. In doing so, many cities around the U.S. have awarded rappers with a coveted key to the city or have named an entire day after them as a gesture to honor their efforts.
In late 2022, Lil Baby received a communal nod from his hometown. The Grammy award-winning rapper went on Instagram to break the news about the city of Atlanta’s official proclamation of “Dominique ‘Lil Baby’ Day,” in which they recognized “his successful career and his generous philanthropy.” Now, Nov. 13 will forever be known as a day that champions the 27-year-old multiplatinum luminary in the city that raised him.
In the spirit of celebrating rappers for their accomplishments and contributions to society, many other cities have honored days to some of the game’s most popular talents. During a Celebration of Life event in 2021 following Young Dolph’s death, Tennessee’s Senator Katrina Robinson proclaimed Nov. 17 as Adolph “Young Dolph” Thorton Jr. Day of Service. Dolph’s day, which is officially recognized in both Tennessee and Georgia, encourages social goodwill and acts of benevolence across the country, something that Dolph was good for.
Besides Lil Baby and Young Dolph, there’s more to unpack here. Similarly, hip-hop icons like Drake, Kanye West, the entire Wu-Tang Clan and various others have honorary days, too. Below is a full list of acts (both old and new) who have been saluted by their hometown and other major cities across the globe.—Derrius Edwards