Lil Baby & Gunna – Drip Harder

What’s good readers?! Today we will be getting into the first, much-anticipated collaborative project by two very fresh Atlanta, GA rappers, Lil Baby & Gunna. Drip Harder will be Gunna’s 4th and Lil Baby’s 6th full-length releases, respectively. First will be a scouting report, where I talk about their strengths and weaknesses as rappers, best works and other recent and notable things about them and their music. Then I will get into the track-by-track breakdown where I’ll make some notes about each song and give each one a rating out of 5. Finally, I will break it down with some final thoughts about the album itself and give it a final score out of 100 (see here for more detail on how I score tracks/projects). Without further ado, Ima let you know what’s really good with this project.

Scouting Report

  • Lil Baby and Gunna both have released an incredible amount of music in the very short time they’ve been in the industry together. Lil Baby started rapping two years ago and has put out all of his material from 2017-onwards. Gunna used to go by the name Young Gunna, but he too has released his entire Drip Season trilogy along with a few EPs since late 2016 after dropping the “young” from his stage name.
  • Apart from their solo projects, they have also featured on each other’s songs numerous times, showing off their very impressive chemistry together on multiple occasions, as well as chemistry with more prominent artists such as Young Thug and Drake.
  • The name of the album represents a play on the names of both of their most recent trilogy series (Drip/Hard)
  • Both of these guys are arguably the hottest new artists out at this current moment; they both have released multiple singles that have charted in the past year. Lil Baby has received more success commercially with various charting songs as well as a platinum single “Yes Indeed (feat. Drake)”, but Gunna is no slouch in that regard either as he has charted on Billboard twice this year.
  • All of these things listed above have created a perfect firestorm of hype and anticipation surrounding the project; they acted while the iron was hot by dropping this project now, and many fans have little doubt that they will deliver a quality project together.
  • Strengths
    • Lil Baby: excellent melodic delivery coupled by just the right amount of autotune that accentuates his authentic Atlanta drawl. Flow is exceptional, can hold his own with most in the industry in his current red-hot form. Has an excellent ear for beats, proven hitmaker with two under his belt in a very young career. Switches up his content enough to keep it interesting as well
    • Gunna: Also has an excellent grasp of melody, flow is just as fluid as Baby’s, also knows himself as an artist and style, similar to Young Thug’s (as a signee this may be natural) but less eccentric. An excellent ear for beats as well.
  • Weaknesses
    • Neither are very lyrical or bring the bars or perform spoken word deliveries often. If you are looking for lyricism, these are not the pair for you.
    • Can sound very similar to other rappers from Atlanta at times, even each other! (Gunna more so than Baby in that regard)
  • Best Songs released prior to Drip HarderGunna – “Top Off“, Lil Baby – “My Dawg“, “Yes Indeed (feat. Drake)“, Collaborative: “Young Thug – Chanel (Go Get it) (feat. Gunna & Lil Baby)“, Gunna – “Oh Okay feat. Young Thug & Lil Baby)
  • Best Projects released before Drip Harder

Track-by-Track

1. Off White VLONE (feat. Lil Durk & NAV) – 

Decent instrumental, decent verses and decent hook from Gunna. Favorite verse surprisingly is NAV’s; too much autotune for Lil Baby, Durk somewhat disappointing. OVERALL: 3.5/5

2. Business Is Business

Better instrumental than the last one, nice flow on Gunna’s verse, Baby gets more melodic and back in his pocket here. Better hook here from Gunna as well. Good song. OVERALL: 4/5

3. Belly

Gunna. Kills. This. Shit. From the harmonizing before the amazing melodic hook all the way thru the verse, this is Gunna at his very best, outdid Baby on this one even though Baby more than holds his own. Fire instrumental produced by Turbo. OVERALL: 4.5/5

4. Deep End (Lil Bibby)

Baby croons emotionally on the hook here to good effect giving us the mindset of a youngin just starting to get into the streets. Heavy on the autotune in the verses but conveys the emotion well.  Instrumental simple but fits. OVERALL: 4/5

5. World Is Yours (Gunna)

Nice instrumental from Wheezy, bass knocks hard and has a nice tempo to it complete with a whistle. Gunna switches his delivery up a few times throughout the song to keep it interesting. Catchy hook too. OVERALL: 4/5

6. Underdog

Best instrumental on the entire project, a true trap spiritual produced in part by Wheezy, RamyOnTheBeat, Mattazik Muzik, Turbo & June James. Hook from Gunna is both motivating and catchy. Baby and Gunna both wax poetic about how far they’ve come in their respective lives to be able to provide for their families. OVERALL 4.5/5

7. I Am

Baby steals the show on this one similar to the way Gunna did on Belly. Baby’s verse is excellent regarding the flow and mixes street content with his lavish lifestyle. Instrumental is solid, not amazing but fits the style well. OVERALL: 4/5

8. Seals Pills

Instrumental has the same drums but spacier than the rest of the project. Decent hook from Gunna, references prescription drugs and how they numb the pain for him. Baby’s verse is similar, not glorifying the drugs but just being real about their effects. OVERALL: 3.5/5

9. My Jeans (feat. Young Thug)

The hook is lengthy and typically eccentric from Thug, nice Charlie Sheen Money Talks reference but nothing special otherwise. The hook is so long that it cuts into the verse time for Baby and Gunna. Bang average regarding a “Thug” song, instrumental and all. OVERALL: 3/5

10. Style Stealer (Gunna)

The beat is pretty good, I like the flute and the different sounds that it has amongst the trap drums and hi-hat rolls. The hook is one of Gunna’s weakest on the project, drags on too long. References other rappers jacking his style and verses are on the shorter side. Nothing special. OVERALL: 3/5

11. Close Friends (Lil Baby)

The beat is slower and has a sadder vibe to it than the rest of the beats on the project, fits with the content. Baby croons in a very monotone but emotionally cold delivery about a relationship that went sour because of his bad decisions. Great hook, Baby gets sensitive and conveys the emotion well. Takes a risk and pays off. OVERALL: 4.5/5

12. Drip Too Hard

Lead and only single released. Great first verse from Baby, and a catchy hook that is well delivered. Gunna’s verse follows a similar melody pattern to Baby’s hook. Bouncy instrumental. Potential hit; debuted at 28 on Billboard and is rising. OVERALL: 4/5

13. Never Recover (feat. Drake)

Excellent instrumental from TayKeith, one of the best on the project. Drake makes his second collab with Baby track (first with Gunna) count with a verse that is a spoken word rendition of Baby’s tried and true flow, while seemingly responding to Kanye’s attempts to make peace to him; best rap performance on the album. Gunna finds his pocket and holds his own on his verse, Baby as well. One of the best hooks on the project from Baby as well. OVERALL: 4.5/5

Final Thoughts

  • Overall very consistent project from the beats to the melodies and the flows. The album clearly has a sonic identity that works well for both artists, no bad songs
  • Not too long and not too short, just the right length especially considering the artists sound and sometimes redundant lyrical content
  • Baby and Gunna show incredible chemistry throughout just as advertised, did not disappoint in that respect. Both adept at making great hooks and playing off one another, Baby slightly outdoes Gunna overall, but Gunna does have his moments on the project and is not lacking by any means
  • Features were a mixed bag, Durk and Thug were good choices sonically but didn’t necessarily meet the expectations, Drake definitely delivered big time though
  • Obviously not the most lyrical project (not that we were expecting one). I’d like to hear better bars, but the flows and the melodies make up for it for the most part, especially on songs like “Underdog” and “Close Friends” where they take a more personal approach to the lyrical content

FINAL SCORE: 81/100

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