“KIRK” is estimated to debut with about 150k album equivalent units. (Photo courtesy of Interscope Records)
For the past six months or so, Jonathan Lyndale Kirk–most commonly known as rap artist, DaBaby–has been working his way up the pop culture totem pole. From the radio, to short dance videos on Instagram, Baby has been streaming worldwide with his unforgettable melodies, mesmerizing beats, and ever-so catchy cadence. Most notably recognized for his song, “Suge,” the Charlotte born rapper has been causing an uproar all over the country.
On Sept. 27, his new album entitled “KIRK” was released, comprised of 13 songs that left fans pleasantly surprised.
The first clue given away is the name of the album. Kirk is the North Carolina natives last name. This alone just screams, “this is me; this is DaBaby.” From the first song, listeners knew it would be different than the rest. As “INTRO” begins to play, DaBaby begins to reveal pivotal facts about his life. This further introduced himself to fans in a way that they were not used to. Another song that follows the trend of Kirk telling his narrative is “GOSPEL” featuring Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane, and YK Osiris. The lyrics of this particular song allow streamers into his background a little more as he speaks of the loss of his father and his struggles as he tried to find his way.
Do not be alarmed, however. The “Next Song” rapper is still the same that fans know and love. The songs on the album still incorporate beats that people cannot help but bop their head to and also include that classic DaBaby humor. He even admits that he is not too serious for himself in comparison to other artists.
In a spread for Music’s Ebro, prior to the release, he says that “a lot of guys are too serious for themselves, and that’s not even them behind closed doors or off camera. As consumed as your time is in a business like this, being yourself got to be the smartest thing a person could do.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what he did. He showed the world how versatile he really is. Yes, he can joke about and make “fun” or “bumpin’” music, but he has the ability to convey himself as serious, but not too serious as he made very clear. In contrast to other artists such as Juice WRLD or YoungBoy Never Broke Again, DaBaby does not focus too much on the intense factors of his album. In simpler terms, he is like, “Yea I went through some things… but let’s get lit!” This vibe of optimism portrayed throughout the album reinforces his personality; he is not too serious, but he is serious enough. He made sure that never lost his signature touch. Fans still recognize his infamous adlibs, amusing punchlines, and the way he enforces typical rap culture when he makes references to things like law enforcement, fancy cars, and women.
This is the most DaBaby that anyone has ever seen, including DaBaby himself. Interscope Records has a real gem on their hands. His multifaceted character is constantly depicted in his music time and time again by portraying who he is behind the music, through the music. This piece of work specifically though, is genius. He was able to branch out of the norm while still being able to withhold who he is. It is common for rappers or any artist, really, to change their sound completely and leave fans in a tunnel of turmoil and confusion (which is completely dependent on the music that is produced). He kept his sound, he kept his personality, and he kept his vibe. People all around the world have now been formally and officially introduced to Jonathan Lyndale Kirk.
Overall Grade: A+