Trap music rarely gets the respect it deserves. The general lack of lyricism—whatever that word means—causes trap to be looked down upon when compared to traditional hip-hop. In order to get any respect, a trap album needs to be very special. Lil Baby’s latest album “My Turn” is just shy of being a special album.
Even still, this is Lil Baby’s best project to date. It’s not just a good trap album—it’s a good album, period.
The name of the album lets the world know from the get-go that Lil Baby feels like he has something to prove with this album.
It’s his turn to cement his spot in the industry, and he pulls out all of the stops with this project.
Twenty tracks long, “My Turn” has all the warning signs of an over-bloated album designed to extract streaming revenue with half-baked filler songs. Lil Baby even slaps on the song “Catch the Sun” from “Queen and Slim: The Soundtrack” in what should be a red flag for the album’s quality.
Against all odds, Lil Baby manages to not only make all twenty tracks listenable, but enjoyable over a one-hour runtime.
Feel free to disagree, but I would argue artists should put their best songs towards the front of the album to establish a good first impression with the listener. Through the first four tracks, Lil Baby certainly makes a forceful impact. The first track, “Get Ugly,” serves as a nice warm up, loading the bases for Baby to knock it out of the park with the heavy hitting “Heatin Up.”
The album peaks on the third song, “How,” which uses a stunningly sparse and thumping beat to showcase his effortless ability to flow. “How” encapsulates Baby’s primo ability to make music worthy of passionately head-nodding to. “Grace” wraps up the opening fifth of the album and introduces the world to 42 Dugg, a Detroit rapper who comes through with a showstopping feature on beautiful production.
From then on, Lil Baby keeps it steady, but the number of truly stand-out songs is small. The raucous “No Sucker” with Moneybagg Yo and the DJ Paul of Three Six Mafiaproduced “Gang Signs” are two of the more noteworthy songs in the latter half. What’s most impressive is the lack of any bad songs at all. Stellar production certainly helps in this regard, along with Mr. Baby’s willingness to inject real energy into tracks when needed.
Even if the highs aren’t so high, the consistent quality from start to finish makes “My Turn” one of the first great hip-hop albums of the decade.
Vincent Rendon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush.