March has just begun and Da Baby already has a strong claim on the title of Rap Rookie of the Year. On March 1st, the Charlotte, North Carolina native dropped his latest project, Baby on Baby. The project spanned 13 tracks, totaling to 32 minutes in length. While tracks with guest features from the likes of Offset (on Baby Sitter) and, in Da Baby’s own words, “the best young n***a rapper”, Stunna 4 Vegas (on Joggers), are must a listen, Da Baby’s solo records held the album down from start to finish. Da Baby starts off the album rapping the lines, “I’m thinkin’ ’bout takin’ it out (For what?) / It’s hard to pop shit with my grill in (Ha) / I can’t let it fuck up my flow / Let these lil’ n****s run up the score and I still win.” Da Baby raps like he has nothing to lose and even when it looks like he’s about to take an L, he still comes out on top. This confidence didn’t just start off on this album though, he’s been rapping like this since the days he went by his old moniker, Baby Jesus.
While he had some solid records during his Baby Jesus days, Da Baby started to gain some traction, post-name change, with the release of his 2016 project, God’s Work Resurrected. He would then go on to release two mixtapes in 2017, Billion Dollar Baby and Back on My Baby Jesus Sh!T. While those mixtapes were essential to his growth, none were as impactful as his 2018 releases, Baby Talk 5 and Blank Blank. Those projects, especially the latter, set the tone for what to expect on Baby on Baby.
Though we’re still in the first quarter of 2019, Baby on Baby is to Da Baby as a 40-point, triple-double game would be to a rookie in the NBA — a strong statement. Da Baby scored early buckets with Suge, Goin Baby, and Pony. Ran up the score with Baby Sitter, Joggers, and Carpet Burn. Then closed out the album in fashion with records like Tupac, Backend, and Walker Texas Ranger. There may be other contenders as the year progresses but until we hear the music, Da Baby will continue to have a firm grip on the Rap Rookie of the Year trophy.