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Lil Baby - 'Harder Than Ever' Review

An Emphatic Debut Album...

The Album Art to Lil Baby's Debut Album

Lil Baby has been tenacious in his pursuit of stardom.

He dished out four projects in 2017 to generate buzz: Too Hard, Perfect Timing, Harder Than Hard, and 2 The Hard Way. Even though the Quality Control rapper grew up attending high school with Young Thug, he never had Hip Hop aspirations. Rap was merely a hobby before he dished out last year’s projects.

But a co-sign here and there from ATL veterans like Gucci Mane was all he needed to catch fire. He’s managed to stay hot coming into this year, with his newest and biggest co-sign coming from Drake.

Hungrier than ever, The “Yes Indeed” rapper has delivered Harder Than Ever—his debut album featuring Starlito, Moneybagg Yo, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Gunna, Offset, and Hoodrich Pablo Juan. He’s also enlisted the help of producers such as Quay Global, Southside, London on Da Track, DJ Durell, and more.

If Lil Baby is a rose that grew from concrete, he’s now flexing on marble surfaces. He wastes no time painting pictures of hardships on the intro, exclaiming “I really came up from nothing” and how he “dropped out of school.” Yet in the same breath, he stunts on the environments that made him, and on those who want to siphon money from him.

By the time this track reaches its cliff, Baby sounds warmed up and edgier: “I won’t feed in the drama I’m loving the hate/ but one thing for sure, Lil Baby go crazy.”

Which is the perfect transition to “Spazz.” The Southside produced banger is full of bravado and bold declarations. Baby is no joke; rappers pay attention.

Drake sure took notice. But the Drake stimulus package either delivers the artist he’s working with more exposure or renders them dwarfs once he’s absorbed all of their energy. But alongside Drake, Lil Baby proves he’s a scorcher and not to be belittled. His flow is contagious, his wordplay slick and effortless, and he comes away from this collaboration a bigger star.

He also showcases that he can do with or without autotune. There are some artists that are practically inseparable from the instrument, but Baby can do with or without it. With it, he has a melodic pocket he likes to stick to. He’s not a full-fledged crooner, but the brevity of his melodies make for hypnotizing hooks.

“Fit In” is Future-esque, and will have you following every segment until Baby and the song are “gone with the wind.”

Still, this same strength can also be a detriment. Sometimes not wanting to fully sing or fully rap pigeonholes him. Inevitably, he’s left confined to a few notes which gets redundant if he sounds like this on a hook and verse. Young Thug steals the show on “Right Now”; but Baby sounds static.

Essential Tracks

  • “Exotic”
  • “Fit In”
  • “Life Goes On” ft Gunna & Lil Uzi Vert
  • “Throwing Shade” ft Gunna
  • “Southside”
  • “Bank” ft. Moneybag Yo
  • “Spazz”
  • “Transporter” ft Offset
  • “Yes Indeed” ft Drake

The Verdict

Lil Baby’s music exists in the space between Future and Young Thug. On that spectrum, he’s closer to Future than Thug. With all of this momentum he’s garnered behind him, he may even surpass Future some day.

His raw talent, delivery, and hunger make this project easy to get into. He has a tight melodic pocket he likes to croon in; which sometimes gets repetitive. Luckily, the features help to break up some of this monotony. this debut is what it sounds like to flex on those who doubted you.

 Lil Baby is really Harder Than Ever; this album is a B. 

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Lil Baby - 'Harder Than Ever' Review
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