For as long this mind can remember, the outright appeal DaBaby garners is a mystery. Maybe not as much understanding that fits under a style that is popularizing hip-hop today. But despite an abrasive approach and ear for choosing instrumentals, his music is never anything special. His flow never really stood out as anything special and it was as if he never tried to experiment after heightened success.
Blame It On Baby sounds different from the previous singles and solo tracks and albums, with DaBaby taking a more melodic approach to his music. And yet, not even the most interesting twist for an artist of his caliber and style can save this album from being anymore than just lackluster.
DaBaby isn’t the most profound lyricist. It is as if he never reads his bars before going into the booth with weird and gimmicky lyrics like “My mother taught me to use a rubber (okay).” Or his insufferable talking and ad-libs that riddle the first half of Blame It On Baby.
On “SAD SH*T” he begins the track with an intro you’d hear a battle rapper spit on his first demo, declaring this song is sad. And then have it consist of many pop-culture references to sad moments. It isn’t the most creative for the rapper.
The album has a decent amount of featured artists albeit not everyone hitting. Roddy Rich, surprisingly makes “Rockstar,” enjoyable. “Lightskin Shit,” is one of the best instrumentals that has DaBaby playing around with his flow, but ends on a real high note as this instrumental sounds tailor made for the featured artist Future.
DaBaby does however inexcusably wastes an Ashanti feature on one of the most sexual tracks that has him sounding like amnesia-ridden Twista rapping again after being described how he flows. Then they grab that recording and his verses play at .5x speed. To be honest, that’s the best way to describe DaBaby’s flow on a lot of tracks on this album, including the intro and “Talk About It.”
Throughout the album there are points that make you think that DaBaby can be legit, but he still has the similar problems as before. Interestingly, his take on celebritism and the exploitative nature of sexualization and violence in gang life in contrast to, is wasted because there are no returning factors on this. “Rockstar,” specifically tackles this with pure awe, as well as “Jump,” with NBA Youngboy.
Take away the vocals and the instrumentals transcend musical borders with the complex melodic layers and switches. DaBaby even makes worse use of these instrumentals with his redundancies and never assimilating well. It is almost as if he is stuck in two different eras musically and can’t seem to find the right equilibrium.
Blame It On Baby, is an interesting approach for DaBaby’s third album seeing him experiment with more melodic sounds. There are moments where he shines on the instrumental, but in most cases he gets out shined by the producer. Overall it is a very forgettable album.