Lil Baby is my favorite Baby. The Quality Control rapper has been on my list of budding rappers with star power since “My Dawg,” his 2017 breakout single. Gradually, with the momentum of a fiery locomotive, Lil Baby has ascended as a standout feature killer and hitmaker who releases strong, well-rounded albums.
Lil Baby’s latest body of work, My Turn, might be his strongest yet. The 20-song album puts on full display Baby’s fluid, rapid-fire style. Stylistically, on every record, he impeccably weaves together sleek braggadocio and earnest introspection with such infectious passion. The way his weightless flow tramples over beats is like watching Michael Phelps swim, or Usain Bolt run, or Steph Curry shoot. Lil Baby is poetry in motion.
In terms of a sleeper hit, the obvious choice is “Commercial.”
The Tay Keith production tag comes first, then a 16-second piano build-up before the bombastic drums comes in with chest-caving force. It’s the perfect bounce for Lil Baby; he’s right at home, each line moves into the next as if they were stitched together by a seamstress. The bounce and flow jump into your skeleton. “Commercial” grips you by the time guest feature Lil Uzi Vert enters, delivering a verse that will have your shoulders shimming.
Lil Baby doesn’t allow songs to breathe. He makes you feel like you got your money’s worth every time he raps. If there’s space to fill in a song, he’ll fill it with more. “You can take me out the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of me / I know the hood proud of me,” he raps, a proud escapee of circumstance he’s long left behind.
How can you not cheer for this guy?