As far as hip-hop is concerned, 2019 was near unanimously the year of DaBaby. The Charlotte MC turned himself into a bona fide superstar through a combination of near ubiquitousness and unprecedented consistency in the fun-to-bar ratio of his verses. BLAME IT ON BABY, then—his first project of 2020 (2019 brought us two, along with an inordinate amount of guest verses)—is DaBaby forging onward despite a year marked by the inescapable calamity of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of BLAME IT ON BABY’s release, DaBaby appeared on six separate songs within Apple Music’s influential Rap Life playlist; this is clearly a man who stays in the studio. Which is not to say that he’s any more in love with his own voice than his contemporaries. In fact, BLAME IT ON BABY features an all-star list of collaborators including Quavo, Future, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Roddy Ricch, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and even early-aughts R&B princess Ashanti. If there is anything at all to blame DaBaby for, it’s the much-appreciated sense of normalcy that hearing a song like “TALK ABOUT IT”—where he brags about being nominated for a Grammy and draping his daughter in designer jewelry—might provide for hip-hop fans in the moment.

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