DaBaby’s most recent offering Back On My Baby Jesus Sh!t AGAIN is more of the same, sure to entertain those who have come to enjoy the rapper’s formula.
This extended play only has six songs, yet it still somehow drags on. The most glaring problem is the beat selection — there is little imagination, serving mainly as bland background melodies for DaBaby to anchor with his performances. But DaBaby just isn’t interesting enough to compensate for both the poor production and his own weak lyrics. Of course, bangers don’t need to be lyrically complex to be dope, but when we know DaBaby is capable of songs like “Intro” that hit really hard while having engaging content, it’s a little disappointing to not get a track of that caliber on this project.
But there are still strengths to the E.P., one of which lies in its quality flows. DaBaby has been known for one of the smoothest deliveries in the game for his whole career, and this project is no different — there’s all sorts of little flow switch-ups that make his verses all the more catchy, like “I wonder why my bitch get mad when I pull up to the crib with Mercedes” on “Draws,” or “Got a n*gga ready to bet on it / She ain’t puttin’ that shit on me” on “Sticked Up.” In fact, I would say DaBaby’s flows are the main draw of the E.P., considering how lacking the rest of the songwriting throughout the tracklist generally is.
One of the main problems I see with this release is how plain the hooks are. Sure, “5 For A Dub” has a sung hook that’s at least memorable, and “Look Like Sumn” has a little melodic quirk (“Somebody call my assistant for me”) that makes it slightly better, but half of the hooks on this project are just rapped refrains that are incredibly forgettable. Vocal melodies are an area that could have buoyed an otherwise stagnant project, but DaBaby failed to deliver in this regard as well.
Still, we should not lose sight of the fact that there is definitely some good material here. Right off the bat, “Draws” is one of the best songs on the E.P., with its minute-long runtime ensuring it doesn’t get stale. Its verse has entertaining ad-libs and lines throughout, and its flute-like beat and quick hook are easily high points for the project.
Unfortunately, though, one has to fast forward to the E.P.’s concluding track to get to the next above average song, “Sticked Up.” This track has the best beat of the project, featuring a soothing vocal and understated percussion. DaBaby floats over the production; his hook is simple and repetitive, yet it fits well in the song’s misty atmosphere. Meanwhile, 21 Savage has a good guest spot here — nothing mind-blowing, but compelling nonetheless.
With an artist like DaBaby whose forte isn’t lyricism, the production needs to catch the ear and provide a baseline quality that DaBaby can multiply with his flows. When the beats are as uninspired as they are throughout the middle of this project, it’s easy for everything to blend together; indeed, “Roof” and “Look Like Sumn” feel like they’re almost the same song. This general dryness helps more unique songs like “Draws” and “Sticked Up” to stand out more and be more appreciated, but it also makes most of the E.P. a slog to get through.
Back On My Baby Jesus Sh!t AGAIN is fine to throw on in the background, maybe for an inoffensive 12-minute listen at the gym, but in the scope of a market as saturated as trap music, there’s much better stuff out there — even from DaBaby himself — It’s hard to imagine that this project will have any staying power at all. This E.P. is more of the same from an artist who does little to reinvent himself; in fact, DaBaby’s previous work, Blame It On Baby, is significantly more engaging with both its hooks and its beats. Five years from now, or maybe even two years from now, we’ll look at Back On My Baby Jesus Sh!t AGAIN as a blip in DaBaby’s discography — one which came and went giving us barely anything to latch onto while it was here.
Nihar Hegde is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected].