Album Review: Lil Baby’s “My Turn”

%22My+Turn%2C%22+Atlanta+rapper+Lil+Baby%27s+sophomore+album%2C+dropped+on+Feb.+28.+WSPN%27s+Andrew+Boyer+offers+an+in-depth%2C+song-by-song+review+of+the+project.

Credit: Owen Smith

"My Turn," Atlanta rapper Lil Baby's sophomore album, dropped on Feb. 28. WSPN's Andrew Boyer offers an in-depth, song-by-song review of the project.

Andrew Boyer

Lil Baby, one of the breakout stars in the era of autotune and mumble rap, has released his second studio album, “My Turn,” a follow up to his debut, “Harder than Ever,” which boasted hits like “Yes Indeed” and “Life Goes On,” songs that featured the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Drake and frequent collaborator Gunna.

Since then, Lil Baby has appeared on major albums such as Young Thug’s “So Much Fun” and Quality Control’s “Leave Em Alone.” He has hopped on remixes of hits like Drake and Future’s “Life is Good” as well as Travis Scott’s “Highest in the Room.” On top of that, he released an album with Gunna, “Drip Harder” and a standalone mixtape, “Street Gossip.” It is clear that Lil Baby has climbed the ranks of hip-hop trap, and “My Turn” is a chance for him to cement himself at the top.

Initially, the features alone were what surprised me the most. I did expect to see Gunna, but Lil Uzi Vert, Future, Lil Wayne and Young Thug all appear on the album as well. We should all be grateful to live in an era where rappers will frequently collaborate with each other, as it produces more interesting music.

The album kicks off with a decent start with “Get Ugly,” produced by fellow Atlanta native ATL Jacob. Lil Baby elaborates on how far he has come and speaks on his current lifestyle. But I felt that the power of the beat slightly outshined Lil Baby’s smooth bars.

The next song, “Heatin’ Up,” featuring Gunna, was not bad. One could even argue it may be the best song on the album. I could actually hear Lil Baby this time around. Were his bars any good? No, but they sounded excellent. I can see why plenty of people would say that Lil Baby is their favorite rapper. Do they know what he is saying half the time? Again, no. But does it sound really cool? Yes. And quite frankly, I respect this about Lil Baby. He is someone who fits a genre of cool-sounding songs that make no impact on the listener on a personal level. The flow on the beat with the subtle violin chords is enough to move this song up through the charts, mainly because it is a Lil Baby and Gunna track.

The next two songs were nothing special. Lil Baby sounded weak all by himself on “How,” and it felt like the same thing over and over for three minutes. Next was “Grace,” which featured Detroit rapper 42 Dugg, who is not someone that I enjoy listening to, putting it nicely. The beat on this song in no way matched the flow and was not cohesive at all. It might be too much to ask, but I really wanted quality songs on this album, not just throwaways to get the record to the 20-song mark.

Next is “Woah,” one of the wider-known songs on the album, as it was released as a single at the start of November. This is one of the rare Lil Baby solo tracks that is actually interesting. The chorus is my favorite part, but on his other two verses he switches the flow up, which is refreshing on a Lil Baby song. In terms of the charts, this was the most successful part of the album, which doesn’t say too much, considering it isn’t a song that I would even put on any playlist. But it has grown in popularity – it debuted at 19th on the Billboard top 100, mainly because people like to hit the “woah,” a popular dance, to the song.

In my opinion, one of the best songs on the album was “Live Off My Closet,” which heavily featured fellow Atlanta rapper Future. The melody of the chorus was solid and interesting, but Lil Baby sounds so much like Future in terms of his sound and flow on this song, that when Future’s part comes in, it isn’t as special as most Future features. All the same, I still enjoyed the interesting beat and catchy melody.

“Same Thing,” the song that follows “Live Off My Closet,” had a very fun and upbeat instrumental until Lil Baby ruined it because he sounds like the “same thing” throughout the entire song. His flow and sound just did not match the beat, and again, this track was not cohesive. “Emotionally Scarred” basically put me to sleep, and on his own, Lil Baby sounded blasé and weak.

Moving on to “Commercial,” which featured Lil Uzi Vert: I expected a lot from this song, and unfortunately, I was let down. On a classic Tay Keith beat, Lil Baby repeats the same flow for a minute and a half until Lil Uzi Vert comes in. This may have been one of the most boring Lil Uzi features I’ve heard. It seemed like he was essentially trying to sound like Lil Baby, and his sound was super one-dimensional and short. Lil Baby dragged the rest of the song to three-and-a-half minutes with the same flow he started with.

“Forever,” with featured Lil Wayne, was awful and may actually be the worst song on the album. Way too much was happening with the beat, and it didn’t sound right with a boring Lil Baby flow over it. Just like Lil Uzi Vert, it seemed like Lil Wayne was trying to tame himself down to a Lil Baby type sound, and again, it sounded very boring.

We are now halfway through the album and so far, I haven’t really heard anything too special, with a few songs being tolerable enough to get through. On “Can’t Explain,” Lil Baby’s autotune sounds pitchy and irritating. “No Sucker,” featuring Moneybagg Yo, was decent enough to listen to, but the beat was the same thing over and over. Moneybagg Yo’s voice sounded refreshing after hearing mumble rap and autotune for the past half of the album, but his flow was trash and said the same line over and over.

“Sum 2 Prove” is another underwhelming track on this record, despite the hype it got when it was released as a single. Rather than showcasing his sound, Lil Baby sounded once again pitchy and irritating. “We Should,” featuring Young Thug, was decent. Young Thug sounds like himself on the song, but this is nowhere near his best. Even then, Young Thug carries because Lil Baby’s flow is just so boring on this track.

“Catch The Sun” is hands-down the best song on the album. The instrumental is super cool and mellow, and it perfectly complements Lil Baby’s sound. It is very different from a lot of his music which tends to be more trap, but it was really good. It’s the most unique song on the album by far, and I really enjoyed it. This is followed up by “Consistent,” which is another very great song because Lil Baby actually sounds good. His voice is more clear and raw, which is something I enjoy hearing on a Lil Baby track.

“Gang Signs” and “Hurtin” are two more throwaway songs, as Lil Baby sounds bland on both of these tracks, and nothing about the sound or the beat makes me want to listen to them again. “Forget That” was tolerable enough to get through because it was an appropriate length of a Lil Baby song. It which featured Rylo Rodriguez, who just sounds like a wanna-be Young Thug. The album was wrapped up with “Solid,” which wasn’t very “solid” at all. Lil Baby’s voice sounded a tad bit higher, but it was still way too pitchy to enjoy.

This album just proves to me that Lil Baby is much better in songs where he is featured because he sounds weak and bland in most songs by himself. After listening to him for a whole album, he just gets so boring after a couple of tracks. I was expecting more from this album, and I was, unfortunately, let down. Although it has debuted at number one on the charts, I don’t see the hype behind this album at all.

Alternative opinions:

“I personally thought this was a very good Lil Baby album,” sophomore Devin DiCarlo said. “Three songs from the album have been added to my playlist.”

“It was a bad album,” sophomore Eric Xie said. “Lil Baby is just not that good by himself.”

“Its fire because [Lil] Baby is fire, but it’s no Eternal Atake,” sophomore Devin Brogan said.

“Lil Baby is too trash,” sophomore Stephan Barantsev said. “I’m not vibing with it.”

“The album was pretty good even though it sounds like a lot of his older songs,” sophomore Mia Djafari said.

“It was alright, but I expected a lot more,” sophomore Michael Davis-Francis said.

Excellent Songs:

None

Decent Songs:

Live Off My Closet (feat. Future)
Catch The Sun
Consistent
Heatin’ Up (feat. Gunna)

Trash Songs:

Forever (feat. Lil Wayne)
Grace (feat. 42 Dugg)
Emotionally Scarred

Rating: 6.75/10

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.