Two years after the release of his chart-topping album, four times certified platinum by the RIAA My turn and a year after The voice of heroes joint album with Lil Durk, Atlanta rapper Lil Baby returns this Friday with his follow-up studio LP, It is only me.
The 23-track set, released October 14 under Quality Control Music and Motown Records, is approximately 65 minutes long and features guest appearances from Future, EST Gee, Young Thug, Jeremih, Nardo Wick, Pooh Shiesty, Friday and Rylo Rodriguez. It’s only me the cover looks like a landscape painting that depicts a Mount Rushmore by Lil Baby, hovering over an image of the giddy-sounding rapper in the wild, sitting on a large rock.
It’s only me The exit comes as Dominique Jones, born at 27, continues to soar. Her hit single with rapper Gunna, “Drip Too Hard,” was recently certified Diamond with sales of over 10 million copies. The “Yes Indeed”, “We Paid” and “The Bigger Picture” artist just wrapped up this year’s One Musicfest and released the official theme song for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, “The World is Yours to Take”.
The Grammy winner and co-headliner of One of them tour with Chris Brown is the subject of a feature documentary, Not trapped, now streaming on Prime Video. Lil Baby is also co-producing the new BET+ unscripted series, Atlanta Impactand appears in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Advertisement “Squad Up”.
The 4PF label founder – who recently won an MTV VMA for Best Hip-Hop Video alongside Nicki Minaj for “Do We Have a Problem” – Lil Baby uses the majority of It is only me to shine a light on his success, his influence, his family and his intentions not to go back to his humble beginnings, grow up in the Oakland area of Atlanta or go to prison for drug charges. Fans can expect a more astute and lyrically confident rapper who knows his worth and reminds the listener throughout his new project that with great power comes great responsibility.
Check Billboardtrack classification for It is only me below.
This is one of the few times on the album where Lil Baby’s tone isn’t changed. The song has playful keyboards, a bouncy bassline, and a chuckling beat to carry it. Its simplicity, however, is not enough to support the weight of this project.
22. “Stop Playin” (feat. Jeremih)
Its airy opening slips into a melody and piece that resembles a ticking clock. This time, Lil Baby ditches his flows for a more industrial R&B sound in collaboration with guest vocalist Jeremih. It’s always great to balance harsh sounds with romantic material to capture female fans. This, however, is not that.
Lil Baby laments over tick-tocks, hollow traps and a classic piano arrangement. He is a hopeless romantic who regularly argues with his love interest and has fallen out with envious friends. Still, Lil Baby insists he’ll keep going, even with all he’s done for his failed relationships.
20. “Cost to Be Alive” (with Rylo Rodriguez)
Opening with jazzy piano chords, Baby is joined by his raspy-voiced 4PF artist Rylo Rodriguez on a sparse drum pattern, to gloat over the duo’s current predicament. They defied the odds on the streets and prison stints to live in affluent communities and achieve their dreams as rap stars. It’s one of the weakest cuts on the set, however, falling a bit flat beyond their self-awareness.
After a while, the production starts to repeat itself, but this track is what everyone expects from Lil Baby. It has all the elements: the basic trap loop under a sleepy voice. There’s nothing to get excited about, but it just reiterates how popular Baby is in music.
18. “Cascade Flow”
Lil Baby enlists ATL Jacob and Ayo Slim to help him deliver a message to those who doubted him. Its bright, lush tune lets Lil Baby live in his glory: he’s a viral sensation and a hitmaker who foots the bill for his friends. The rapper also recognizes his true calling and the responsibility he bears as a top talent.
Arriving with chopper-style drumming courtesy of producers King LeeBoy, Harto Beats and Hoops, Lil Baby’s signature swinging cadence is all about not letting the little things kill his mood. From haters to his harshest critics, Lil Baby has his eyes set on the prize and celebrates the fruits of his labor. The hook should definitely earn him a new legion of fans once he performs it live.
16. “Perfect Moment”
Lil Baby’s robotic croons muffle acoustic guitar plucks, before the song turns into a groove of rock guitar, bright keys and snare drums. Episodes like the death of a close friend or failed relationships due to drug addiction prompt Lil Baby to recalibrate his life on this track. It is a wake-up call to know exactly when to change your life and take a new direction on a new path.
Produced by Bizness Boi and Fortune Beats, a fuzzy and eerie vocal sample sets the tone for a heartbroken Lil Baby. He’s part of a love triangle on the low, winning and dining on his destiny, and using a slightly lower vocal register to express his grief. It gives Lil Baby one of his most heartfelt and sweetest moments on the entire set.
14. “Shiest Talk” (featuring Pooh Shiesty)
Lil Baby is joined by rapper Pooh Shiesty on a simple piano drum track to emphasize that there’s only trouble in the streets. They’ve seen their friends get killed, dealt with the cops, and know the only way to escape is to take their rap career seriously. It’s a basic continuum of Lil Baby’s evolution.
13. “Russian Roulette”
Lil Baby is convinced his best days await on the bluesy closing track. He has survived many deaths of friends and family members, but enjoys owning real estate, participating in the game alongside his friends like Gunna, and making his grandmother proud. It’s not over the top in terms of production, but sets the perfect mood for redemption.
12. “No-fly zone”
Now a father of two, Lil Baby knows the future looks bright for his immediate family. His life has come full circle from his roots in Atlanta to becoming one of the world’s greatest recording artists. Lil Baby is focused on keeping it that way. At the same time, over the catchy handclaps of the song, he expresses his determination to bless his queen with the finer things in life, now that he can afford it.
11. “Top Priority”
Lil Baby once again reiterates how his stardom changed his focus. He is the breadwinner of his family, so he does not participate in internet life or gossip. He makes investments, wins music’s highest accolades, and is determined not to let anything or anyone interfere with his success.
10. “In a Minute”
Produced by Kaigoncrazy and Haze, Lil Baby has the luxury on this track of being at the top of his game and sharing stages with other music heavyweights, but is no stranger to the price of fame and what he sacrificed to become a superstar. Over a few snare cracks, he recognizes his incarcerated homies and acknowledges that he’s a chosen one who changes the narrative.
9. “Never Hating” (feat. Young Thug)
The joint featured by Young Thug produced by Wheezy has Lil Baby borrowing some of Thugger’s rhythmic thunder for just over two and a half minutes. Lil Baby makes it clear that he keeps a close eye on leeches and sketchy people in his space. Thugger, meanwhile, is aimed at pocket watchers who have something to say about his ostentatious taste.
8. “Not Finished”
The song’s prog-rock-inspired early piano loops give Lil Baby the space to burn on the hard track as a high point. Success has brought Lil Baby more than his fair share of thirst traps and pickings to exploit, but he reiterates how determined he is to build his empire, despite all the distractions. This is without doubt one of the most difficult cuts on this album.
7. “From Now On” (feat. Future)
The ears of Tay Keith and Murda Beatz are the brains behind this haunting track. Lil Baby and Future, whose voice here sounds like a broken speakerphone connection, team up to play a few games, but also to give hustlers a cautionary tale on how to move silently. Lil Baby even whispers quietly as the song fades.
It’s clear from the start that Lil Baby is in a much better place financially and spiritually. The hazy island-inspired melody under Baby’s crisp vocals ensures he’s striving for longevity as an artist and maintaining a positive outlook on life. It could very well work as a great radio single.
5. “Back and forth” (feat. EST Gee)
Lil Baby, Louisville rapper EST Gee and producer Tay Keith join forces on this banger. For two minutes, the rappers talk bar by bar about their rise to the top, and how they respect each other’s status and balaclavas long before the rap game. The collaboration will eventually repeat itself.
4. “Stand on it”
The rapper who “got his name by rolling dice and selling n-like weed” is determined not to get flashed in a pan. He doesn’t forget where he came from, but lets his bewildered tone periodically blur and obscure his message. One thing is certain, Lil Baby is a man of integrity.
Lil Baby spits out one of his clearest verses on one of the toughest tracks on the entire project. The production shifts by one minute and twenty seconds with an adrenaline-pumping shift to accompany Nardo Wick’s grimy, sinister delivery. Lil Baby then returns to that same menacing beat and hits the hook with a breathy rhythm similar to Nardo’s.
2. “Real Spill”
A sample of Sade’s brooding “The Big Unknown” sets the tone before Lil Baby kicks off the game to resounding handclaps about where his huge success changed his life for the better. He is aware of himself and determined to transform all his morbid past into positive elements to improve the life of his family and those around him. The album opener kicks off the 23-track collection with a strong start.
1. “Californian Breeze”
Lil Baby’s life turning a new page means moving from Atlanta to the West Coast. Fame has given Lil Baby a taste of the good life, the hot weather, and the disbelief that his life has taken a full 180. It’s the perfect song to throw in the whip for a night cruise.