Boy does this man move QUICK. By quick I mean, 28 year old Jonathan Lyndale Kirk we all know as ‘DaBaby’ has now released three full albums of work in the last 18 months. He barely gives time for one release to breathe before moving on to his next lyrical agenda.
2020 album ‘Blame It On Baby’ had a big job ahead of it. You see, there’s a couple of viral tracks from previous DaBaby albums that had our heart in its hands. ‘Suge’ and ‘VIBES’ hold their rightful place on your personal workout playlist and ‘Bop’ is one that comes out religiously at social drinks both in person pre-Covid19 and on Zoom post-outbreak. These tracks come from his previously successful albums ‘Baby on Baby’ (March 2019) and ‘KIRK’ (September 2019). Both works have earned him viral headlines, a platinum single, two Grammy nominations, respectable features, and endless attention from the critics.
DaBaby seems to retain a winning formula for his music with a tried and true sound-motif, forever filling up every inch of available space on tape with his high-energy flows. Although he receives stacks of negative rap for producing similar sounding beats, his music continues to prove successful in the hip-hop market. Basically, no problems here if DaBaby continues to push out highly comparable songs – we’ll listen.
‘Blame It On Baby’ continues to flaunt DaBaby’s narrative style as being straight up ballsy. His unapologetic, egotistical swagger is eminently contagious, as seen best on these new tracks ‘CAN’T STOP’, ‘CHAMPION’ and ‘AMAZING GRACE’. He’s got a real talent for hyping you up for a night out after a taxing day at work. This could be because of his innate athletic sprint to start lyrics as soon as the track hits 0.01 or maybe it’s his self-esteem-building rhymes that get you going. This man is eager to rap, young, determined and aggressive. Seriously, swap his tune ‘JUMP’ for your red-bull/berocca/coffee combo and see what comes of it. Let me know.
What is different about this album is the phase of the rappers current life that it depicts; his ‘after fame’ journey. No longer is DaBaby on the initial rise to the world stage, he’s well on his way. DaBaby’s name is out there and drawing major critique (whether that may be good or bad) and he’s now here in our ears to make his case in proving his longevity in the industry. ‘TALK ABOUT IT’ depicts this well, as he lets his haters hear about his escalating fame, bank account, line of girls, and unstoppable hustle to make widely successful music.
In contrast, ‘FIND MY WAY’ slows it right down with some refreshing guitar flecks, DaBaby reminiscing with his ex love with heavily conflicted feelings (don’t we all have those). Feels good to hear something a little more raw from our Charlotte rapper, and I like how jumbled the lyrics get during the verse – it reflects the jumble that is heartbreak, recovery, and the journey of experiencing inevitable memory-lane trips after letting something toxic go.
‘ROCKSTAR’ feat. Roddy Rich has been ‘BLAME IT ON BABY’S’ most listened to song on the album with just about 53 million listens according to Spotify’s popular release ranking. The bittersweet style plays to both of their strengths, Roddy’s higher voice like sweet icing on DaBaby’s cake. ‘ROCKSTAR’ has also begun making viral waves on Tik Tok with a trending dance routine.
‘BLAME IT ON BABY’, the track with the album’s title, is where things really switch up. We’ve got countless unexpected changes in tempo where you’re pretty much taken on an involuntary epileptic journey through many universes. To be honest, the first AND second time listening to this track didn’t have me caught on its vibe. The third time however, I started to understand it, and I was able to really lean into it. This is a real gem of an experiment you’re not going to be bored with, kind of similar to ‘Kings Dead’ by Kendrick, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake. I’m thinking my late night drive playlist (just to the supermarket before it closes in these current times…), is gonna be where I really squeeze the juice out of this song and give it its deserved spin.
Overall, fans will be happy to have heard from DaBaby during these extra long days at home. And we didn’t just get a single. We got an entire album to trawl through. Enjoy listening and picking your favourites team, look forward to meeting you back here in about two days to review his next album. No doubt in my mind he’ll be making the most of this time in isolation.