Atlanta’s Lil Baby delivers reality rap on “Harder on Hard”

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Written by Waylon O'Day

Considering he has only been making music for about half a year, Atlanta’s Lil Baby has racked up an inordinate amount of accomplishments. His video for “My Dawg,” is pushing 6 million and he’s had multiple features from his childhood neighbor Young Thug. However, his situation looked a lot different two years ago.

After a 2014 drug charge, Baby had been sentenced to five years, at the age of 18. However, good fortune shined its light on the aspiring MC, as he was released after just two years, with his mind set on bettering his life through music. As mentioned earlier, Lil Baby grew up in the same Atlanta neighborhood of rap superstar Young Thug; he also grew up with Quality Control Music’s co-founder, Pierre “Pee” Thomas. Thomas’ partner, Kevin “Coach K” Lee, had been trying for years to get Lil Baby into the rap game but to no avail. After his release, Baby seemed ready to heed Coack K’s advice and make a headfirst dive into making music.

The raw energy that Baby brings to a track is something that is so unique to him, even if the song is slower, you can feel the desire and the hunger in his belly as he tries to get away from the life that he used to live. However, it’s hard to completely stray away from the past, as a lot of Baby’s lyrics deal with drug dealing, doing drugs, etc. It is still evident even through these lyrics that Baby has moved on. He has his own record label, and on top of that he got some major features for his debut mixtape, Perfect Timing, including Lil Yachty, Duke, Young Scooter, and of course Young Thug. He followed that up with the DJ Drama-hosted "Harder than Hard", which featured his most popular song to date, “My Dawg.”

His musical style is much like that of his contemporaries coming out the ATL, however, his authenticity is what sets him apart. He really is a guy that was out there in streets, did his time, saw the light, and decided to better himself through music. I have to stop myself and constantly remember that this guy has only been rapping for less than a year; any critiques I could give him could easily be remedied by the next tape, as he has continually been upping his game project by project.

Lil Baby has to be one of the most interesting guys to pop on the scene in the past year, with that being said, he could easily just be a blip on the hip-hop radar. If he doesn’t keep trying to find a sound that resonates, he will fall flat, but he has the tools and people around him to succeed. It’s really up to him if he does that, but the way he’s going, there’s no doubt in my mind that he will make it, and make a better life for himself and his family.

Listen to his project, "Harder Than Hard" below.