Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing short pieces about a number of artists, both to present a case for why they may be the best feature artist of 2019, and to perhaps show you some songs that may have slipped under your radar. Yesterday I wrote about A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and today we have our second contender, Charlotte rapper DaBaby.
28 year old DaBaby began rapping back in 2015 under the moniker ‘Baby Jesus’, but despite bringing something fresh to the scene and consistently releasing mixtapes, he didn’t hit the mainstream until 2019. Between 2015 and 2018 he released a total of 13 mixtapes, but during that time he was known more so for his antics outside of music, most notably the time he wore a diaper to sxsw in 2017, and the time he shot and killed a man while acting in self defence in 2018. He started gaining a little bit of traction with the release of his most recent mixtape ‘Blank Blank’ in November of 2018, but really started popping when he released his single ‘Suge’ at the start of March 2019. This helped his debut album ‘Baby on Baby’, which released alongside Suge, reach number 25 on Billboard, and both the song and album received much critical acclaim. DaBaby did an amazing job keeping this momentum going for the entirety of 2019, releasing several successful music videos, being announced as an XXL Freshman, and then going on to release his second album of the year in September, titled ‘Kirk’. Kirk debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, by far his most successful release so far. And of course on top of all that DaBaby had a whole range of impressive features scattered throughout the year.
DaBaby was a very prominent feature artist in 2019, featuring on songs by unknown rappers, songs by other up and coming rappers, and remixes of number one songs. He had some great features and some pretty average features. But perhaps most impressively, he had a lot of features. Below are all the songs that I’ve taken into consideration whilst considering DaBaby for the spot of ‘best’. All songs have DaBaby as a feature artist, and were released in 2019.
The Good (good songs with good DaBaby features)
• Young Nudy & Pierre – Dispatch (ft. DaBaby)
• Dreamville – Under The Sun (ft. J. Cole, Lute & DaBaby)
• Quality Control – Pink Toes (ft. Offset, Gunna & DaBaby)
• Quality Control – Baby (ft. Lil Baby & DaBaby)
• Post Malone – Enemies (ft. DaBaby)
• Megan Thee Stallion – Cash Shit (ft. DaBaby)
• Chance The Rapper – Hot Shower (ft. Madeintyo & DaBaby)
• Stunna 4 Vegas – Ashley (ft. DaBaby)
• Stunna 4 Vegas – Billion Dollar Baby Freestyle (ft. DaBaby)
• Stunna 4 Vegas – Sticks (ft. DaBaby)
• Str3tch – Goin In (ft. DaBaby)
• Lil Nas X – Panini (remix) (ft. DaBaby)
• Lizzo – Truth Hurts (remix) (ft. DaBaby)
• Jamz – Baby Shower (ft. DaBaby & Lil Baby)
• Doobie – Power (remix) (ft. DaBaby & Icewear Vezzo)
• Gucci Mane – Richer Than Errybody (ft. DaBaby & Youngboy Never Broke Again)
• Trippie Redd – Death (ft. DaBaby)
• Blac Youngsta – Like A Pro (ft. DaBaby)
• Camila Corbello – My Oh My (ft. DaBaby)
• Gatti800 – Act Out (ft. DaBaby)
• Geezy Escobar – Cool (ft. DaBaby)
• Str8barz – Crazy (ft. DaBaby)
• Saint Vinci – Duck Sauce (ft. DaBaby)
• Tone Tone – 100 P’s (ft. DaBaby)
• Ou’ri Cuatro’s – Bag Mode (ft. DaBaby)
• Sy Ari Da Kid & Paxquiao – One Phone Call (ft. DaBaby)
• Succeed Phlyguy – NO CAP ZONE (ft. Stunna 4 Vegas & DaBaby)
• BaeBae Savo – Scared To Book Me (ft. DaBaby)
• SPIRO – Splash (ft. DaBaby)
• 704 Baggz – Back Up Off Me (ft. DaBaby)
• Semi Sixteenz – Double Or Nothin’ (ft. DaBaby)
• Go Yayo – Rockstar (ft. Stunna 4 Vegas & DaBaby)
• Mir Fontane – Hide The Money (ft. DaBaby)
• Tay Money – Booty (ft. DaBaby)
• Slicc Da Kidd – Off The Boat (ft. DaBaby)
• MUNK – Suboxone (ft. Shakewell & DaBaby)
• Garcia Vega – Look At God (ft. DaBaby)
• K Dos – Colors (ft. DaBaby)
• Beach Bumz – Bank Roll (ft. DaBaby)
• HeroGawd – She The Plug (ft. DaBaby)
• Chophouze – FuckWhatYouTalmBout Freestyle (ft. DaBaby)
• Fat Dave – New Money (ft. DaBaby & Stunna 4 Vegas)
• Bando Boy Shad – Sauce (ft. DaBaby)
• YQ Dreams – Dit It (ft. DaBaby)
• Blacc Zacc – Tuesday (ft. DaBaby)
• Rob J – What I Like (ft. DaBaby)
The Bad (Bad Songs, Bad DaBaby Feature, or both)
• YK Osiris – Freaky Dancer (ft. DaBaby) – Osiris is annoying af on this
• Famous Dex – Who? him? (ft. DaBaby) – dex sucks on this, trash dj tags too
• Mr Postman – Pamper (ft. DaBaby) -undecided, DaBaby and beat are fire
• Locx – I’m A Star (ft. DaBaby) – locx is trash
• King – In My Bag (ft. DaBaby) – decent baby verse, rest lame
• Zawazeo Del Patio – Gucci Bag Latina (ft. DaBaby, 2 Sober & Jungle) – basic beat, best parts are Spanish?
• 2 Sober – Bust It (ft. DaBaby & Petey Pablo) – OG Of above song, pretty average
• G Step – On The Run (ft. DaBaby) – Baby kills it, rest is repetitive/generic
• Akevius – 1+1 (ft.DaBaby) – ak generic, Baby doesn’t fit beat
• Plies – Boss Friends (ft. DaBaby) – Plies is annoying ‘ha’
• Young Money Yawn – Ya Heard Now (ft. DaBaby) – amateur, lacking something
• D-Major – No Time (ft. DaBaby) – Bad mixing, minimal Baby
• Viic Flair – Heartless (ft. DaBaby) – trash baby verse
• Moonie Music – All I Ever Wanted Remixed (ft. DaBaby) – literal trash
So is DaBaby the best feature artist of 2019?
I think DaBaby certainly has one of the strongest cases for the best feature artist of the year. That’s a staggering 60 songs DaBaby featured on in 2019 alone, 46 of which are great songs with great DaBaby features.
One of the most impressive things about DaBaby is he went from being almost unknown at the start of the year, to being one of the biggest rappers in the world at the end of it. This is evident through his features, going from featuring on songs by artists such as ‘HeroGawd’ and ‘BaeBae Savage’, to featuring on songs by Gucci Mane and Chance The Rapper, to appearing on the official remix of smash hits such as Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ and Lil Nas X’s ‘Panini’. Not only was his progress in fame through throughout the year impressive, but his consistently delivered quality performances regardless of who the lead artists was. With so many songs on my ‘Bad’ list it would seem like he wasn’t too consistent, but with 46 quality features on quality songs, you barely notice the fact he has some average features.
One of the main criticisms I’ve seen is that DaBaby sounds the same on every track, and I wouldn’t exactly disagree, but I don’t really think this detracts from the enjoyment of his features. Despite not changing up his flows or subject matter a whole lot, he subtly changes things up enough that he almost always rides the beat effortlessly, and rarely takes away from a track. In 2019 DaBaby was one of those rappers that rarely stole the show with the best performance on a track, while also rarely being the weakest part of the track. He brings this energy, charisma, and often humour to every track he is featured on, something I found really fresh and enjoyable far more than it was disappointing.
So overall, DaBaby is certainly a front runner, bringing both quality and quantity in terms of his Feature game in 2019. My Personal Favourite features of his, which I’ll narrow down to 5 for ease of listening are; ‘Power (remix)’ by Doobie, ‘Panini (remix)’ by Lil Nas X, ‘Dispatch’ by Young Nudy & Pierre Bourne, ‘Enemies’ by Post Malone, & ‘My Oh My’ by Camila Corbello.
Do you think DaBaby was the best feature artist of the year?
Thanks for reading!
– Shan –