DaBaby looks to drop a classic album with “Kirk.”
While “XXL” may not end up getting major club burn worldwide, in my opinion, it’s one of the best songs DaBaby has ever made. On it, you get a chance to hear the 27-year old spit both relentlessly and savagely about killing n***as (Both literally and figuratively), keeping women on waitlists, and being the best rapper in the world (This n***a really thinks he’s Jesus, folks).
To me, “XXL” is cold, arrogant, violent and trill. With that being said, I think the song serves as a perfect introduction to who DaBaby is.
“BOP” feels like classic DaBaby, to me. On it, our hero spits some pretty reckless bars about smashing women with good p***y, making honest money, and continuing to be a street n***a despite being famous. While I love the grit/aggression DaBaby raps with on this joint, I think it’s the bass boomin’ instrumental attached to the song that is special. (That s**t knocked off the box of grits I had on the top of my fridge).
Don’t you love when DaBaby rides a slow ass beat like the one you hear on “BOP?” To me, his words hit harder on these type of beats.
“GOSPEL” is definitely a different sound for DaBaby. With the track being powered by this gentle/churchy instrumental, what you get from the Charlotte rapper is vulnerable lyrics revolving around keeping it real when it comes to dealing with s**t like taking care of fam and overcoming tragedy. Don’t get me wrong, you still get grungy lyrics by DaBaby on this joint (He threatens n***as for the millionth time on the song), it just takes a backseat this time around.
YK Osiris, Chance The Rapper and Gucci Mane are all featured on “GOSPEL.” YK is on the hook, giving us something pretty soulful, while Chance and Gucci Mane each drop powerful/wise verses about making good decisions in life. While Chance sounds goofy as s**t on his contributions, Gucci sounds focused as hell on his, coming across as humbled throughout (I didn’t think Gucci fit this song, though).
Doesn’t this song remind you of Meek Mill and Drake’s “Amen” track from back in the day?
“IPHONE” is going to do very well on the Billboard charts. In my opinion, the hook you get on it is way too catchy to pass up on, Nicki Minaj’s verse is too dynamic to ignore (She sings gleefully and raps hard on her verse), and the gentle/trap-inspired beat you hear on the track is catered for every kind of club in America. The only question I have about this song is whether or not DaBaby is going to be sued by Apple for using their main product’s name as the title for it.
If you’ve listened to DaBaby these last couple of months, you know that he’s quite the girl-snatching/gun-toting/s**t-talking n***a. Well, in “INTRO,” the North Carolina rapper humbles himself a bit, opening up about his come-up, interest in wifing up his current girl, and father’s untimely death.
As usual, you’re going to love the raw approach DaBaby raps with from start to finish on “INTRO” — even when the subject-matter at hand veers towards some extremely personal s**t.
Frfr, “INTRO” is the kind of song I wasn’t sure DaBaby was capable of making.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. INTRO (5/5)
2. OFF THE RIP (3.5/5)
3. BOP (4/5)
4. VIBEZ (3.5/5)
5. POP STAR (4/5)
6. GOSPEL (4/5)
7. IPHONE (4.5/5)
8. TOES (3.5/5)
9. REALLY (2.5/5)
10. PROLLY HEARD (3.5/5)
11. RAW S**T (4/5)
12. THERE HE GO (4/5)
13. XXL (4/5)
I’m pretty sure DaBaby thinks he’s the greatest thing since 5G cell phones. Seriously, on “Kirk,” he finds his way out of sticky situations better than MacGyver, brags and boasts about his money-making/b*tch-smashing ways, and even calls himself the best rapper in the game. While I love his confidence, I think it’s the “Suge” rapper’s musical growth (Or lack-there of) that catches my attention the most on this album.
From the moment you press play on “Kirk,” you are treated to “INTRO” — a vulnerable track in which DaBaby raps about both his grandmother and father’s death. For the first time ever, I heard some pain in the rapper’s voice, which tells me he doesn’t mind letting the world see his personal side from time to time. In the middle of the album, you also get “GOSPEL” — a somewhat heavenly track that features a splash of soulfulness and humility. To me, both tracks forced DaBaby to get uncomfortable, which in my opinion, made him come across as mortal (Listeners love mortal rappers, so I thought he won with these two tracks).
For the rest of “Kirk,” you get a version of DaBaby that is arrogant, savage, violent, ferocious, fame-hungry and self-centered. When he’s in this mode, the North Carolinian plows through his verses like a wolverine, riding all the bass-heavy trap beats he’s handed fantastically. (Long story short, DaBaby knows he’s in his element when he makes you want to punch him in the face) Will you learn much from these songs? Probably not, but they will serve as viable bangers you can play when you need a pick-me-up.
To me, the features on “Kirk” were pretty solid. I thought Kevin Gates did a fantastic job of giving us something exhilarating in “POP STAR,” YK Osiris put up something extremely infectious in “GOSPEL,” Nicki Minaj did a good job of taking over “IPHONE,” Chance The Rapper made quite the impact on “GOSPEL,” and Lil Baby slayed his verse on “TOES.” As for MoneyBagg Yo, Gucci Mane, Stunna 4 Vegas and Migos, I thought they were so-so on their respective songs (In other words, I could’ve done without them on this album).
Overall, “Kirk” is so-so, to me. While I f**k with DaBaby’s witty lyrics and steady flows on it, I thought he sounded both gimmicky and played out at times on it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tracks in which he opened up about his personal life, but on the real, I got tired of the tracks in which he tried to remind the world that he is this savage muthaf**ka with money and b*tches (They will serve me well when I’m inebriated in the club, though). In the end of the day, “Tha Carter III”– an album DaBaby compared “Kirk” to — was fun, energetic, and most importantly, creative; To me, “Kirk” is predictable, slightly stale and repetitive. Nonetheless, the Charlotte native is the hottest thing in music right now, so people will bump this s**t (But for how long is the real question?).
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.