Album review: “Kirk” marks a turning point for DaBaby

Story by Aaliyah Johnson/Contributing Writer

DaBaby became the breakout star of 2019 with his hit album Baby on Baby” back in March, which contained his hit song “Suge”. That song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard charts just two months later in June. His particular style and rap flow runs parallel to many others which made him a breath of fresh air the rap industry and enabled him to win them over with his comedic performances and violent undertones in his raps. As one of the artists being dubbed a XXL Freshman of 2019, he was given the well deserved attention he needed to take his career to the next level.

DaBaby, born Jonathan Kirk, recently released his latest album “KIRK” with some very notable features from other high-profile artists, like Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Nas X, Post Malone and Gucci Mane just to name a few. The cover art is simply a picture of him as a baby sitting in his father’s lap and just from looking at it, you can gather that it’s about his late father who passed away just before his big break into fame. He refers to this in the first song of the album, “INTRO”.

In the song, he talks and reminisces about his family and the heartbreak of finding out about his father’s death after his newfound success. This song starts the album out on a slow pace and humbles the listener by showing how hard life has hit Baby throughout his intro to stardom. At one point in the song, he gives the listener an inside view of how he found out about his father’s death.

“They found him dead a couple days before I started tour/Same day I flew back to the city from Miami/I was out there with the family.”

Leading away from the personal side of the album, we get to the signature sound of DaBaby we all know and love, with his nonchalant attitude and cleverly crafted lyrics. It’s hard not to fall in love with songs like “OFF THE RIP” with the 3-tone bassline and hi-hats, which make this a head bopper as soon as the song starts. Another song, “VIBEZ,” which also features that repetitive bassline, shows off his creative and conversational style of rapping and ad-libbing. Kevin Gates assisted Baby in the song “POP STAR,” describing his sudden rise to fame while rapping in the symphonic style that he’s best known for. If there were any complaints, the album seems a bit too overloaded with features. They begin  overshadowing DaBaby’s talent as you get further into the middle.

It’s immediately obvious that this album isn’t like any of his previous ones which followed the usual “money, sex, and expensive cars” theme. This album does a complete 180 and surprises you with a deeper look into his personal life. It definitely stands out more than any other album out right now. I would rate this album an 8/10 because I think some songs could’ve been better lyrically and the beat could’ve been more punchy, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing album.


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