First Impressions: Lil Baby – My Turn

Lil Baby is a 25 year old rapper from Atlanta who has been steady grinding his way to the top of the hiphop scene for the last 4 or so years. For an intro into Lil Baby plus some all information to get you up to date on his career, check out this post in which I went into a little more detail on the rise of Lil Baby.

On 28th of February 2020 Lil Baby dropped his sophomore album ‘My Turn’, loaded with a total of 20 songs and features from Gunna, 42 Dugg, Future, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, Moneybagg Yo & Rylo Rodriguez. Despite having a solid 2019 with over 50 features, this is his first project since 2018’s ‘Street Gossip’. In the lead up to the album Lil Baby dropped 3 singles; Woah was released in early November, Catch The Sun was released in mid November as part of a movie soundtrack, and Sum 2 Prove dropped towards the start of January.

Below I’m going to review the album in 2 parts, first will be my track by track observations, and following that will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include some discussion questions and links to stream the project at the end. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. Get Ugly – Starts Off a bit slow, some decent rhymes though. Delivery and flows aren’t too special. Hook is basic. Beat is pretty average too. Some decent flows and more good rhymes in the second verse. Real average track

2. Heatin Up (ft. Gunna) – Beat is quite simple but it bangs, bass hits hard. Flows are pretty basic again from Baby. Picks up as it progresses though, second half of Baby’s verse is fire. Hook is decent, good flows and rhymes but isn’t too catchy. Gunna surprisingly has some real solid flows, delivery is mediocre though, no different than the usual gunna verse. Still an okay feature though. Disappointing song though, some high points but just an average song overall

3. How – Beat has these eerie synths and thumping bass, is quite a basic trap beat overall though. Some okay bars but the flows are average again and the delivery is quite boring. Whole song lacks energy and therefore isn’t very exciting at all. Hook is just as average as the rest of the song, just real boring lifeless delivery. Pretty bad song this one

4. Grace (ft. 42 Dugg) – 42 Dugg’s intro isn’t too special on this, is unintelligible half the time and the flows and bars aren’t anything special. Love the transition to Lil Baby though. Much better delivery from Baby on this than the last, some really solid flows too. Baby verse has some great rhymes, but other than that is quite average. Hook is the best part of the song, enjoyable delivery and flows throughout. 42 Dugg verse is a bit better than his intro, flows great and his delivery is real enjoyable. Average song

5. Woah – Heard this when it dropped late last year and have always thought it was okay but not too great. Enjoy the pleasant piano in the beat, other than that the beat is just your basic thumping trap beat. Hook is catchy, easily the best of the project so far, has a super enjoyable delivery and flow to it. Verses have some fire rapping at times, great flows and a decent delivery. Song drags on a minute too long, don’t like the unnecessary repetition of the hook at the end. Decent song, I’m on the fence but have been on the fence for months so probably won’t end up being a big fan of this

6. Live Off My Closet (ft. Future) – Hook is fire on this, sounds like a good young Thug hook at times, Baby flows super well, and the hook all round just sounds great. Verse is just as solid, lots of great high energy flows and delivery, some impressive rhymes and bars too. Future matches Lil Baby’s energy perfectly, rides the beat super well and has equally enjoyable flows and delivery. Real good feature. Real good song overall

7. Same Thing – Ooh love this beat, real pleasant little guitar melody contrasted with this hi tempo drum beat. Lil Baby sounds great on this, real enjoyable delivery and flows with ease over this instrumental. More great rhymes on display too. Hook has an awesome flow to it, And is super catchy too. Second verse is just as solid, Baby changes up his flows a bunch and they all sounds great, and more quality delivery from Baby. Another real good song

8. Emotionally Scarred – Another Real enjoyable beat from the jump, has this somber guitar melody and this subtle little flute synth. Really enjoyable first verse from Baby, rides the beat amazingly, changes up his flows a bunch, and has lots of great bars full of emotion packed bars, super good verse. Second verse is just as good, Lil Baby’s emotional, reflective delivery and bars mesh so well with the beat. Lots more impressive flows on display too. Hook is fantastic, and fits the vibe of the song perfectly. Has this super enjoyable slow flow and serious tone, with a great delivery throughout, is super catchy too. Real good track

9. Commercial (ft. Lil Uzi Vert) – Super basic beat, trappy drums and this synth that’s too subtle to have any impact. Baby’s flows and rhymes are quite solid again, but the delivery is back to being mediocre and almost monotone at times. Average verse. Good change of vibe in the hook, much more enjoyable delivery from Baby, Hook is quite enjoyable. Lil Uzi kills his verse, lots of enjoyable flows and some impressive rhymes and bars, solid delivery throughout too, better than Baby’s verse. Lil Baby’s second verse is a bit better than the first, starts off a bit average but once it picks up the pace it gets more exciting, some real enjoyable flows at some points. Just an average song but with some good parts, on the fence

10. Forever (ft. Lil Wayne) – Hook is quite average on this one, isn’t too catchy at all and the flows and deliveries are just basic. Verse is kinda fire, Baby goes hard with some really impressive flows which change up a bunch throughout, and the rhymes are great too. Delivery is nothing special but still a good verse. Lil Wayne is fire straight from the jump, has a much more energetic and exciting delivery than Lil Baby, with flows that are just as solid and rhyme schemes that are even more impressive than Lil Baby, great little feature. Enjoy the harmonising between Wayne and Baby for the start of the third hook. Hook and beat are average, but the verses are fire. Decent song, on the fence

11. Can’t Explain – Baby back to his sad sounding emotional delivery, works super well on this track though, some really solid emotion packed bars, and the flows are really enjoyable throughout the first verse. Hook has a good flow to it and a simple but enjoyable rhyme scheme, good hook overall. Second verse is just as somber and retrospective, has this really addictive emotional delivery, and the flows are decent. Bars are just as great as the first verse, much more serious tone to this song than most. Good song

12. No Sucker (ft. Moneybagg Yo) – Banging Beat, and Baby starts off the song strongly. Love the 2 person hook, solid rhyme scheme throughout and both Lil Baby and Moneybagg sound great, real good chemistry. Isn’t too catchy though. Pretty average delivery from Baby again on his verse, but his flows and nonchalant tone are really good at times. Good rhymes but nothing too impressive. Song feels like it’s lacking something, might be because of the simple beat. Some great bars from Moneybagg in his verse, and his flows and hungry delivery are great for the duration of it. Actually a really good feature, best part of the song. Decent song but felt like it was lacking something, not as strong as their other collaborations.

13. Sum 2 Prove – Heard this when it dropped in January and have been a big fan ever since, grows on me with each listen. Beat is quite simple but has this thumping bass and this intriguing synth in the background, and is crafted well to fade out at certain times. Baby rides the beat amazingly for the duration of the song, thoroughly enjoyable flow and delivery, with some real good bars and rhymes too. Hook is super catchy and has this really solid flow to it as well as this addictive delivery. Hook is good enough I don’t mind the fact he repeats it. Great song all round

14. We Should (ft. Young Thug) – super enjoyable hook, another fantastic 2 person hook with great flows from both Young Thug and Lil Baby, and a real enjoyable rhyme scheme. Love the structure of this song, both thugger and Baby have really enjoyable performances in each verse. Thug starts each verse with some fire flows and solid rhyme schemes, and then it transitions cleanly to Lil Baby who carries it on fantastically, equally as good flows and bars. Love when the beat drops out around 2 minutes in, Baby sounds amazing over the super minimalistic instrumental. Whole song flows amazingly despite the strange structure. Great song, favourite contender

15. Catch The Sun – Heard this one as well but never paid too much attention because it was on some random soundtrack and didn’t really interest me. Beat has this super pleasant guitar melody in it. Flows are okay but nothing special, and the delivery is quite boring again. Hook is real nice but a little too long, isn’t exciting enough to drag on as long as it does. Some solid bars in the second verse, and the flows are decent, but the delivery is basic again. Whole song is nice, but not too exciting, nothing makes me want to revisit this. So average song overall

16. Consistent – Beat is a simple trap beat again but isn’t too bad, bass is solid and the subtle synths are pleasant when you can hear them. Some more solid flows from Baby, and a much more enjoyable delivery at times than on most songs so far. Flows are actually real solid mostly, and the rhymes are great too, with a fair amount of emotional bars. Enjoy the melodic little section at the end of the first verse, real emotional and sound lad amazing. Second verse is just as solid in terms of the flows and rhymes. Another great little melodic, emotional section at the end again. Hook is a little average, flows okay but the delivery isn’t too great and the repetition is unneeded. Average song overall, on the fence about this one too

17. Gang Signs – The Intro sample is real hype, goes well with the hype beat. Baby back to his monotone, nonchalant delivery, isn’t real captivating at all, but the flows aren’t too bad. Enjoy the sections where the beat changes up a little. Average first verse though. Hook is real average, lots of repetition without any exciting flows or bars, and just isn’t catchy. Second verse is a little more solid than the first, baby sounds menacing, some decent flows and rhymes but overall is still an average verse. Fairly average song overall

18. Hittin – first verse is okay, has a good flow to it but the bars are basic and the delivery isn’t too exciting again. Hook is short and not too catchy or exciting, but transitions really well into the second verse. Second verse is quite enjoyable, real solid flow from Baby which he changes up throughout, and lots of enjoyable deliveries used in this verse too. Decent verse. Third verse is decent too, rides the beat super well and all round just flows with ease, with some decent bars and rhymes here and there. Real mid song, some good parts but lots of averageness

19. Forget That (ft. Rylo Rodriguez) – Piano is pleasant and the bass bumps real good, quite a generic beat though. Fire flows from Baby, goes hard with this hungry delivery and some quality bars and rhymes throughout. Another fairly average hook with a basic flow and nothing too catchy, but transitions well into the second verse. Rylo actually has quite a nice verse, his delivery is real enjoyable and he changes up how flow enough to keep it exciting, meshes great with lil Baby. More unnecessary repetition in the final hook, repetition don’t make me like it more haha. Average song, wish it had a good hook

20. Solid – Hook is quite mid Again, has a good rhyme scheme to it but the delivery is lifeless and the flows are basic and generic. Verse isn’t much different, has some exciting delivery at times and more solid rhymes, but the flows aren’t very good for the most part. Has some exciting flows at the end of the verse but didn’t have much of an impact. Second verse is pretty average too, is quite boring for the most part and then gets a little more exciting towards the end when Baby changes up his delivery a bit more. Another average song

Album Review

Overall I felt like this album was a huge disappointment, and was frankly not a very enjoyable album to listen through. Funnily enough if this album had come out 12 months ago it would have basically met my expectations, with his 4 prior projects all being of a similar quality (bloated projects with a few gems). But based off his exceptional run of features in 2019 and his strong singles, I felt like this album was going to be much more consistent and enjoyable, and boy was I wrong. With average production throughout, some below-par features and a lack of effort from Baby at times this album was extremely mid.

The main problem with this album is just how long and bloated it feels. With 20 songs and only 6 that I found enjoyable, it was a chore to get through. Having 20 songs isn’t necessarily a bad thing if all the tracks are enjoyable or have a purpose, but that isn’t the case here, with many songs having low points, and some being pretty bad or boring all the way through. The album starts off badly, with 3 opening tracks with boring flows and lame hooks. The next couple of tracks; ‘Grace’ and ‘Woah’ are a bit better, with both of them having average verses but catchy hooks. And then the rest of the album is a mix of highs and lows; the Lil Wayne assisted ‘Forever’ has a bad hook, Lil Baby has an average verse on ‘Commercial’ with Lil Uzi, and ‘No Sucker’ was my least favourite of Moneybagg Yo and Lil Baby’s many collaborations. There were lots of average of unenjoyable moments throughout the album and a lot of them were Lil Baby himself, who for a majority of the album uses a monotone, lifeless delivery, which is often used to deliver basic flows and bars. Some of the features were quite average too though, with the Gunna collaboration being far worse than they’re capable of, and the 42 Dugg feature on ‘Grace’ being the least impressive performance I’ve heard from 42 Dugg. Apart from the poor efforts often on display from Lil Baby and his feature artists, a majority of the production brings the album down, with lots of instrumentals being lazy and generic trap beats which aren’t unique or exciting in any way.

‘My Turn’ isn’t all bad though, with a few songs I thoroughly enjoyed and some other high points scattered throughout the average songs. ‘Live Off My Closet’ is a great banger which shows how great Lil Baby can be when he flows with a bit more energy, and features a catchy hook and an amazing guest verse from Future. ‘Same Thing’ has one of the most catchy beats on the album, with this calming, almost tropical sounding guitar melody setting the tone for the track, but Lil Baby contrasting it with this exciting and high energy flow throughout and this insanely catchy hook. I’ve said before that Lil Baby shines most when he is being vulnerable and utilising his emotion packed delivery and lyrics, which is showcased perfectly on the track ‘Emotionally Scarred’, in which Lil Baby gets quite personal while flowing super smoothly over this laid back instrumental. This vulnerable side of Lil Baby is also on display on ‘Can’t Explain’, which has a more stripped back instrumental and more amazing flows and emotion packed delivery from Baby, all strung together with a catchy little hook. Probably my favourite collaboration on the album, the Young Thug assisted ‘We Should’ showcases the insane chemistry between the two, with both of them delivering a fantastic performance on both the hook and the verses, which is made even more exciting by the loose song structure. Apart from my favourite songs on the album, there were some other high points, notable the features. I think Lil Uzi Very had one of his best features in a long time on ‘Commercial’, Lil Wayne was at his best on ‘Forever’, and as a big Moneybagg Yo fan I was very proud and impressed with his feature on ‘No Sucker’. Unfortunately in all these cases I felt like the feature was much stronger than Lil Baby, which isn’t really a good thing. If Lil Baby had been more interesting on the songs with features they could have easily been amongst my favourite on the album.

So yeah, basically I was going into this hoping that it would be a consistent and concise effort that showcased why Lil Baby is one of the most exciting up and comers in the game, and instead I got an album similar to every other Lil Baby project I’ve listened to; a bloated album with a couple gems and lots of filler that was a chore to get through. If you’re looking at getting into Lil Baby and are open minded then I’d recommend giving this a listen just to find a couple of additions for your playlists, but if you’re a Lil Baby hater or someone that is strapped for time then give this a skip, certainly not the best showcase of Lil Baby’s talent.

Final Notes

You can stream ‘My Turn’ on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or listen for free on YouTube here!

‘Woah’ Music Video

‘Catch The Sun’ Music Video

‘Sum 2 Prove’ Music Video

‘Heatin Up’ Music Video

My favourite songs were Live Off My Closet, Same Thing, Emotionally Scarred, Cant Explain, Sum 2 Prove, and We Should.

What were your favourite songs from ‘My Turn’?

How do you think this compares to Lil Baby’s other projects?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

One thought on “First Impressions: Lil Baby – My Turn

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