DaBaby – Baby On Baby 2

A dreary, desperate return...

‘Cancellation’ is a fairly nebulous term. Numerous artists have said and done awful things, only for their careers to, relatively speaking, carry on regardless. DaBaby is a case where cancellation means exactly that – following his appalling homophobic comments onstage his career has nose-dived; shows won’t sell out, headlines are rarely (if ever positive), and he’s reduced to an endless series of stunts to keep his profile afloat. If anything, new album ‘Baby On Baby 2’ serves as a totem for his fall, his lack of focus, and for the aesthetic faults that were always there.

It’s all a long way from his No. 1 charting 2020 album ‘Blame It On Baby’. While that record’s cartoonish nature doubled down on his colourful appeal, it also felt shallow. Fast forward two years and he’s failed to initiate any kind of progress, with ‘Baby On Baby 2’ becoming almost a pastiche of his former work, endlessly pursuing shock factor, spilling tea as if there were no tomorrow.

Stylistically, it continues in his pop-edged trap arena. ‘GO AGAIN’ lurches out of the speakers, but it’s not long before DaBaby’s crass side raises its head. ‘BOOGEYMAN’ contains a revelation about his and Megan Thee Stallion’s (purported) sex life – it’s dumb, and more than a little desperate.

Indeed, the titles along stretch credulity to breaking point. ‘NO CONDOM’ and ‘THAT’S WHY I CREEP’ seem to come from the same place – there’s a void of ideas here, with the only sound fully resonating being that of a barrel being firmly scraped.

Indeed, the relentless parade of peppy beats soon becomes unbelievably tiring; there’s no nuance, no flair, and no change-up throughout the record. Aside from Anthony Hamilton’s late-run feature on the soulful ‘BLANK’ the songs merge into one another, a bland parade of idea-less rap. 

Done and dusted in 31 minutes, the slim 14 track record largely eschews features. In some hands, this could place renewed focus on the central voice – in the case of DaBaby, it underlines how cut off, remote, and thoroughly adrift he seems to be. A lacklustre album that feels gilded in an air of desperation.

3/10

Words: Robin Murray

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