Lil Baby proves that it’s lonely at the top with the release of “It’s Only Me.”
5. Never Hating (Ft. Young Thug)
Do you know those Kobe and Shaq memes that show up whenever a duo does something great? Please apply it to Young Thug and Lil Baby for what they did on “Never Hating.”
I made sure I had zero joy on my face while listening to “Never Hating.” The song’s beat has this uber-serious feel that will immediately let you know that no games were played during its making. The good news is this: Both Lil Baby and Young Thug meet the beat at the rim. In their respective verses, the two rappers welcome smoke and showcase their competitive sides using styles of rapping that are efficient and aggressive. I damn there did a round of applause after the song was finished.
Lil Baby makes sure that we wipe the eggs off our faces with “Danger.”
In “Danger,” it’s Lil Baby against the world. Throughout the song, he calls out people that doubted he could last in the game, he lets people know that he only cares about his family and his team, he lets us know that he’s making serious money, and he lets us know that he gets b*tches! What I love is that Baby raps with this cocky but resolute swagger that perfectly combines with the song’s soap opera-ish beat. It’s beautiful to listen to.
3. California Breeze
Excellent flows and chill vibes blow in “California Breeze.”
The beat attached to “California Breeze” does everything in its power to steal the show here. That s**t has your typical trap flair, but also these easygoing vibes that will massage your ears. Here’s the thing, though: I think it’s impossible to not call Lil Baby’s performance on the song the real MVP. Not only does he drop a very infectious chorus, but he also raps with this relentless approach that will not make you want to argue with his views on love, money, or haters. This song is it.
2. Forever (Ft. Fridayy)
“Forever” is probably the most experimental track on this album.
I love it when rappers step outside of their comfort zone. With that being said, “Forever” hits differently than any other Baby track I’ve heard in the last couple of years. For starters, the song is powered by this dark/hollow beat that would definitely make a ghost cry. Over it, you get overly passionate vocals out of newcomer Fridayy and deep verses by Lil Baby in which he highlights his turbulent and inconsistent relationship with his woman. S**t, I wouldn’t mind hearing Lil Baby in this bag more.
1. In A Minute
“In A Minute” is probably my favorite Lil Baby song of all time.
Can you imagine the stress that was felt by the person who made the “Pound Cake” beat? “Hey, Tom, can you create a beat that both Jay and Drake could spit their deepest bars over? No pressure at all.” The reason I say that is because “In A Minute” boasts a flipped version of the “Pound Cake” beat, and as expected, over it, Lil Baby shines like a floor that was cleaned with WD40.
I love a good hip-hop Cinderella story; the latest one involves Lil Baby. According to my unreliable sources, he wasn’t even interested in rapping until a few years ago. In “In A Minute,” Baby talks about his come-up, along with his luxurious lifestyle and his competitive nature. Based on the determination that he raps with, you can tell that this track really means something to him.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Real Spill (5/5)
2. Stand On It (4/5)
3. Pop Out (Ft. Nardo Wick) (4/5)
4. Heyy (4/5)
5. California Breeze (5/5)
6. Perfect Timing (4.5/5)
7. Never Hating (Ft. Young Thug) (5/5)
8. Forever (Ft. Fridayy) (5/5)
9. Not Finished (4/5)
10. In A Minute (5/5)
11. Waterfall Flow (3.5/5)
12. Everything (4.5/5)
13. From Now On (Ft. Future) (4.5/5)
14. Double Down (4.5/5)
15. Cost To Be Alive (Ft. Rylo Rodriguez) (4/5)
16. Top Priority (4.5/5)
17. Danger (4.5/5)
18. Stop Playin (Ft. Jeremih) (3.5/5)
19. FR (3.5/5)
20. Back and Forth (3.5/5)
21. Shiest Talk (Ft. Pooh Shiesty) (4/5)
22. No Fly Zone (4/5)
23. Russian Roulette (4/5)
As someone who has been a little hard on Lil Baby these last couple of months, I am comfortable with saying this: He delivered with this album.
Production: You get a bunch of high-powered Lil Baby-Esque beats on this album. What are Lil Baby-Esque beats, you ask? Trap beats that are dramatic as hell. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is how I see it. I will say this, though: I absolutely loved it when Lil Baby stepped outside of the box a little. On tracks like “California Breeze,” “Forever,” and “In A Minute,” he is actually challenged with beats that force him to dig deeper in his content bag. In my opinion, those three are easily the best songs on this album. They remind me of Baby’s megahits such as “Hurricane,” “We Win,” and “The Bigger Picture.”
Guest Appearances: The guest appearances on this album were hot and cold. While I feel like Young Thug was the best feature, I f**ked with Future’s verse on “From Now On” and Fridayy’s vocals on “Forever.” Everyone else sounded a little out of place, to me. I didn’t need Nardo Wick’s verse on “Pop Out,” I didn’t need Jeremih’s contributions to “Stop Playin,” and I didn’t need “Pooh Shiesty’s verse on “Shiest Talk.” I damn sure didn’t need Lil Baby to acquiesce to both Nardo and Pooh as he did either.
The Performances: When it comes to putting up strong rap performances, Lil Baby is an all-time great. Though he rambles at times, he never sells you short when it comes to relentlessness, passion, emotion, craftiness, and strong flows. Also, I love how Baby raps with an authoritative style that makes you believe everything he says is true. All in all, the Atlanta rapper has become someone who has us all on a leash.
What Would I Change About This Album: I feel like the album starts off strong but tails off at the end. If Lil Baby shredded like four or five songs from the overall tracklist, this could’ve been an undeniable classic.
The Biggest Reason You Should Listen To This Album: You get prime Lil Baby on it. Matter of fact, I’ll take it a step further: You get prime Lil Baby that is looking to score 50 points on each song on the album. Before this album was released, I wasn’t sure there was a single person that had the hip-hop game in a chokehold; after listening to this album, I’m convinced that the game still belongs to Baby for the time being.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.