Lil Baby – “It’s Only Me” review

This is the 3rd full-length album from Atlanta rapper Lil Baby. Rising to stardom in 2018 off his debut album Harder Than Ever, his profile would gradually increase from there by following up with a collab project with Gunna entitled Drip Harder & his 4th solo mixtape Street Gossip. He then dropped the mediocre sophomore effort My Turn weeks before the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic but with Amazon Prime putting out a documentary a couple months back, Baby’s returning in the form of It’s Only Me.

“Real Spill” is a rubbery yet introspective trap opener about being in a completely different mindset now whereas “Stand on It” takes a more lavish route standing on literally every word that he says. Nardo Wick tags along for the underwhelming “Pop Out” spitting braggadocio accompanied by an uneventful beat, but then “Heyy” was a weak choice for a final single obnoxiously rubbing it in everyone’s faces how lit everyone is now.

Moving on to “California Breeze”, we have Baby over some sample-based trap production from Murda Beatz reflecting on watching a bitch turn sour on him leading into the stripped back “Perfect Timing”almost about keeping his guard up because of people fucking him over. Young Thug comes into the picture for the horn-laced “Never Hating” produced by Wheezy acknowledging that this shit not ending until they’re dead & gone, but then “Forever” comes through with a mediocre pop rap ballad.

“Not Finished” weaves some chimes into the fold talking about never being done while “In a Minute”samples “Pound Cake” by Drake & JAY-Z letting you in on the extravagant lifestyle that he lives. “Waterfall Flow” has a more shimmering quality to the instrumental talking about his girl wanting to be gang while the keyboard heavy “Everything” calls out someone for taking a piece of his heart & owing him it all.

Meanwhile on the Tay Keith-laced “From Now On”, the one & only Future joins Baby in a chaotic look at them dodging the feds while “Double Down” reveals how cautionary he can be over some pillowy trap production. Rylo Rodriguez’ verse & the generic beat throughout “Cost to Be Alive” don’t really do it for me although I admire the subject matter addressed while “Top Priority” dives into atmospheric turf thanks to DJ Champ talking about being the one that they all run up to & dissing DJ Akademiks the cornball for thinking he can’t be touched.

“Danger” returns to the pianos addressing someone he could’ve exposed while “Stop Playing” follows it up with a decent trap/R&B hybrid with some more romantic lyricism. “F.R. (For Real)” comes through with an otherworldly sound justifiably showing off that he’s earned all of his stripes while “Back & Forth” with EST. G finds the 2 over a mediocre instrumental talking about wanting to be fucked good.

The song “Shiest Talk” with Pooh Shiesty confesses that they’ve been “thuggin’ way before Tony put Trevor on a shit bag” over some keys & hi-hats while the penultimate track “No Fly Zone” acknowledges that shit could be worse than it already it is over a woodwind-infused beat. To wrap up the album though, “Russian Roulette” delivers an acoustic trap ballad about fighting all of his life & even being self-aware that he hasn’t dropped his hardest shit yet.

I genuinely wanted to come away from It’s Only Me looking at it to be an improvement over My Turn, but it hurts me to say that it’s just as mid & I don’t mean that disrespectfully. He’s becoming a better performer as proven by some of his recent features & that happens to be the case here also, it’s just that the production is a lot more weaker than it was when we last heard from him 2 & a half years back.

Score: 2.5/5

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