Hip Hop

Lil Baby – Street Gossip (Album Review)

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I’m not going to lie, I did not see Lil Baby’s rise to the top coming at all. Since releasing “That’s My Dawg” in 2017, he’s had a couple of singles and albums that did really well on the billboard charts. Today, the Atlanta native looks to keep his success going, releasing this thirteen track project called “Street Gossip” that might very well feature a version of the rapper that has his chest sticking out.


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TOP 5

 

5. GLOBAL

9/10, one of the best songs on a rapper’s album will be the first one. Nowadays, I feel like there is this emphasis in the hip hop game to catch the attention of listeners as soon as you press play on a project, and in my opinion, “Global” confirms my theory.

“Global” features this emotional trap instrumental that does its best to knock pictures off the walls while also making you emotional. Lil Baby hops on this instrumental sounding like he’s on the verge of tears, mumbling/singing about being from the trenches, and how he now has the ability to buy his chick anything she wants due to his fame. I think the track plays like a ghetto acceptance speech, which in my opinion, makes it the perfect theme song for the album.

 

 

4. PURE COCAINE

“Pure Cocaine” is an undeniable banger. It features fidgety flows, an infectious hook, and lots of raw lyrics by Lil Baby. While I f**k with the animation the Quality Control product raps with on it, I especially f**k with his blahzay-blahzay approach when it comes to talking about his drug-dealing/hood-savvy ways.

Lil Baby comes across like a n***a that knows getting caught for racketeering isn’t in his future.

 

 

3. TIME

Don’t you just love the urgency both Lil Baby and featured guest Meek Mill rap with on this song? It almost sounds like they had ticking time bombs wrapped around their wastes while they were laying down their respective verses.

Contrary to popular belief, I think Lil Baby is a really good rapper. When he wants to, he can piece his words together really well, riding whatever beat you give him masterfully. In “Time,” he does just that, gifting us with this impressive verse that has him doing a bit of flexing and showing the world his savage/reckless ways through some impressive flows.

You know who is a really good rapper? Meek Mill. He has the second verse on this song, and on it, he does some bullying/flossing, practicing similar flows Lil Baby used on his verse.

Would you believe me if I told you that Lil Baby had a better verse than Meek Mill on this song?

 

 

2. ANYWAY

“Anyway” is so f**kin’ mean! It is powered by this emotional trap instrumental by Quay Global that has heavy bass, riveting piano notes, and a darkness to it that is hard to ignore. Over this beat, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane each deliver some braggadocios bars, playing the role of trap Montana Max really well. Personally, I love the combination of solid melodies, tough ass bars and trillness you get on this song, especially considering how nonchalantly they each come out.

 

 

1. REALIST IN IT

“Realist In It” will be played in the clubs by COB tomorrow. The song boasts this dark yet exhilarating instrumental that almost made me call the police on it. Over this instrumental, Baby delivers his best hook on the album, rapping with this rugged/trembling approach that will make you want to shake your imaginary dreads and move your feet like you’re having a stroke. However, my favorite part about this song is the verses by featured guests Offset and Gucci Mane: They both terrorize the Quay Global produced instrumental in their own unique ways, with the former utilizing his signature tongue-twisting flows and ghoulish lyrical content, and the latter coming across like the coolest thing since sliced bread, effortlessly dishing out punchlines and clever similes to explain his winning ways.

Who said Atlanta n***as couldn’t rap?


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. GLOBAL (4.5/5)

2. PURE COCAINE (4.5/5)

3. CRUSH A LOT (4/5)

4. TIME (5/5)

5. READY (4/5)

6. WORD ON THE STREET (4/5)

7. THIS WEEK (4.5/5)

8. ANYWAY (4.5/5)

9. NO FRIENDS (5/5)

10. REALIST IN IT (5/5)

11. SECTION 8 (3.5/5)

12. CHASTISED (3/5)

13. DREAMS 2 REALITY (3.5/5)


OVERALL RATING

(B-)

 

With the release of “Street Gossip,” it is pretty clear that Lil Baby is the real deal. I think he has a found a sound that works for him, and it is one that revolves around emotional trap instrumentals, pretty deep lyrical content, steady flows, very solid melodies and mumbling. Correct, that combination is a weird one, but trust me, it works.

Another reason I think people f**k with Lil Baby’s artistry is the persona he gives off of being a real ass n***a that made his way to the top through hard-work and perseverance. Not only does those characteristics show in the tone/vibes of his music, but he literally talks about it on some of his verses, too. Everything about him just comes across as authentic, to me, which means I feel his music more than I hear it.

Lil Baby and Quay Global’s chemistry is phenomenal! Quay was responsible for about 75% of the beats on this album, and that is why it had such a consistent feel. Additionally, I feel like the up and coming producer was able to provoke our hero to show that one side of him that is introspective and open to talking about the trials and tribulations he faced on his come up (Who doesn’t like an introspective rapper?). Most of the kudos for Street Gossip must go to Baby, but if you have any left to give, please hand it over to Quay Global.

The features on Street Gossip were appropriate. I thought artists like Gunna and Rylo Rodriguez played great counterparts on the songs they were guesting on, while Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and Young Thug did a good job of providing this veteran presence to the album. I do wish Baby’s chemistry was a little better on a few of the songs featuring artists, as it almost felt like he was content playing the back at times. Somebody wake him up and tell him he is a tier 2 rapper now!

I do not know how many years Lil Baby will be relevant in the rap game, but as long as he’s in it, I will be rooting for him. He just reminds me of one of those underdog rappers that wasn’t supposed to be hot, but continued to work on his craft, and is now a go-to artist. Street Gossip is just another major chapter in his story, and thankfully, it never lets up in authenticity.

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