Babyface Ray – “Face” review

This is the sophomore album from Detroit rapper Babyface Ray. Coming up as a member of the Team Eastside collective, he’s gone on to drop 5 mixtapes & 5 EPs within the last 6-7 years before turning heads worldwide & becoming one of the biggest up-&-comers in the city. But with his born day approaching in a few weeks, he’s celebrating a little bit early by releasing Face.

The album starts off with Sosshouse Records’ very own Kura sampling the 1Republic cut “Apologize” for the conclusion of the “My Thoughts” trilogy whereas “6 Mile Show” finds him & Icewear Vezzo tossing braggadocious rhymes back & forth on top of a ghoulish Southside beat. “Sincerely Face” has a bit a hyphy feel to it with some alluring piano chords spitting nonstop about how everything’s a profit leading into the smoky “Tunnel Vision” proclaiming being locked into such.

Meanwhile on “Overtime”, we have Ray delivering a cloudy love ballad with Yung Lean on the hook sounding like he really doesn’t wanna be there just before G Herbo tags along for the extravagant “Blood, Sweat & Tears” talking about how their fame didn’t come overnight. “Go Yard” has a more chilled out vibe with the help of DJ Esco reminding listeners that he’s living better these days, but then “Me, Wife & Kids” talks about blowin’ money fast on top of a woozy Pooh Beatz instrumental.

“Idols” goes into a funkier yet cloudy route detailing him looking up to the thugs while “Same Pain” works in some catchy background vocals talking about everything being different from the day prior. 42 Dugg comes in the picture for the piano/hi-hat laced “Let Me Down” calling out those who disappointed them & the horns throughout “Steak N Lobster” are incredible as he gets back in his flexing bag.

“Needed Some Love” marks a return to a more hyphy-influenced sound talking about the Bonnie to his Clyde while “M.O.B. (Money Over Bitches)” has a bit of a Neptunes influence to the beat & the title of it pretty much says it all as far as subject matter goes. “Dancing with the Devil” with Pusha T was a stellar lead single as OG Parker takes things into a more moodier turn pondering if people would treat them the same if they ain’t had shit whereas the brief piano ballad “Palm Angels, Palms Itching” undeniably wears his heart on his sleeve lyrically.

Sledgren works in some flutes for the drug anthem “Kush & Codeine” with none other than Wiz Khalifa while the song “Seduction” comes off as a hilariously bad country trap cut trying to get romantic. The penultimate track “Richard Flair” has a more demonic tone to the beat talking about treating lames like Air 1’s prior to “Motown Music” sending things off with a glossy tune saying he’s gonna get this money & stay humble.

From the moment I heard Unfuckwitable last year, I knew he was continue to go up from there & Face definitely lived up to the expectations I had going into it. I like how he steps out of his comfort zone by experimenting with new sounds even though not all of them stick the landing & letting a wider audience in as to who he is.

Score: 3.5/5

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