What a year DaBaby is having. He was featured in XXL’s Freshman’s list of 2019, he released his debut studio album, Baby on Baby in March (certified gold), and has a new album out, Kirk. Several critics consider him one of the hottest artists of 2019 and you can’t argue with that. Man is everywhere making hits and his mainstream success has just begun. Given Baby on Baby’s success, does Kirk solidify DaBaby as a top rapper? Yes, it does.
Kirk is the second studio album by DaBaby released months after his success with his debut album. Seems like the label has a lot of faith in him. There are a lot of similarities to the first: 13 tracks and a runtime of just about 40 minutes (Baby on Baby was just over 30 minutes).
The cover art of the record is DaBaby as a child with his dad. It pays homage to his dad who died as soon as his debut album hit number one on iTunes. DaBaby goes on to talk about it in the intro song (INTRO) and how things have changed in the past year. What’s interesting is that INTRO serves as the lead single of the album. Quite an unusual move.
As we move on to the other tracks, things become difficult for me. Why? There isn’t much diversity in Kirk. It’s your typical rap album with all the usual topics that they talk about. You know what I’m talking about: money, started from the bottom, lifestyle luxury, and reminding people where they have come from.
There are moments where DaBaby reminds us that he is a lyrical genius and talks about introspective aspects of his life as a rapper. Take GOSPEL as an example where he talks about he usually feels empty inside as everyone either wants to be part of his team or turn against him. It even gets better with the contributions from Chance The Rapper and Gucci Mane in the song. This song is, in my opinion, the highlight of the album.
Other than that, you get your typical rap songs. They aren’t bad; I actually dig the beats in some songs like TOES and BOP. And yes, iPHONE is a guaranteed future hit as both DaBaby and Nicki Minaj kill the verses. Another highlight of the album in my book. But that’s pretty much it.
To be honest, I can’t start complaining about him sticking to the typical topics. He actually talks about it in his recent Apple Music interview where he says a lot of people focus on the beat. That is true given that the beats made by Jetson, London, Tahj Money and the rest are great. He also says that he can switch to lyricism if he wants to, and I believe him.
It’s no question then that he was making hits to do rounds in the club. Casual listeners will also have a good time listening to this because of 808s in the songs (they slap hard). So I’ll just advice you to enjoy this album without looking into what he is really saying. This isn’t a Kendrick Lamar or J Cole album where we’ll debate over the lyrics. Enjoy it for what it is.
Kirk certainly shows that DaBaby is yet to do more damage in the mainstream industry. While I wish there was more diversity to it, I’m fine with the package as it is right now. 8/10