Lil Baby’s ‘It’s Only Me’ embodies modern poetry

Kyler Wang

Resembling Mount Rushmore, the album cover illustrates different stages of Lil Baby’s evolution as an artist. (Image courtesy of Genius Lyrics)

On Oct. 14th, Lil Baby released his highly anticipated third studio album, “It’s Only Me.” This follows his last studio album, released in February 2020,  “My Turn,” which held the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for five weeks and was the top performing album across all genres in 2020, with 2.63 million total equivalent album units according to Billboard. “My Turn” solidified Lil Baby’s position as one of the most famous music artists in the world, helping him win Artist of the Year at the 2020 Apple Music Awards. Lil Baby had been teasing his fans on social media all year about his new album, officially announcing its release and cover art on Sept. 2. “It’s Only Me” marks Lil Baby’s first studio album since he took over the music world in 2020, and unsurprisingly, it generated unprecedented hype. 

In advance of the release date, lead single, “Heyy” gave fans a preview of the album. While Lil Baby sings about his love interests, this song is uninspiring and comes off as an attempt to make a viral TikTok sound with its cheesy instrumentals. “Heyy” is one of the worst Lil Baby songs in recent memory, and had me worried about the rest of the album. Thankfully, my doubts immediately vanished when the full album was released.

One of the most notable songs in Lil Baby’s album is “Never Hating” which features Young Thug, a Grammy winning rapper who’s smooth verse adds to the quick and aggressive beat, making it an instant classic. 

Another brilliant song spotlights Lil Baby rapping about his past as a hustler and gambler. In “Stand On It,” Lil Baby mentions his reputation in southwest Atlanta and how he got his name from “shootin’ dice and sellin’ weed.” However, a generic beat holds this song back from earning a perfect rating.

In one of the more popular songs of the album, “Pop Out,” featuring Nardo Wick, Lil Baby raps about his success and wealth, mentioning how he has established his position as a top artist. This song is one of the better ones of the album, with the beat switch adding to the variety. Lil Baby also references his undervalued net worth, saying, “Google said my net worth five mil’ I got that s**t in cash.”

Taking in the “California Breeze,” Lil Baby raps in his new music video.

Switching up the traditional fast and aggressive Lil Baby flow, “California Breeze” has a slow and melodic beat. Lil Baby raps about taking his girlfriend on extravagant dates throughout California. “California breeze, take her out to eat, stop at a lil’ party … pull up in a ‘Rarri, hop out like a big dawg.” 

Later in the song, Lil Baby references the work ethic he is known for, with the line “Bookin’ on my schedule, I ain’t rich enough to chill out.” This is a common theme across many Lil Baby songs, where he talks about his transformation from poverty to success and how he is not done yet and will continue to bring the same fire that got him to the top.

Lil Baby’s hard work seems to have paid off, as the new album instantly proved to be very successful, dominating Apple Music charts. All 23 songs on “It’s Only Me” took up the first 23 spots of the top 100 songs in the U.S. list the weekend following its release and Lil Baby was  the top streamed artist on Spotify on Oct. 14th, the day the album was released.  

Overall, this album is a 4.5/5. Listeners can really see Lil Baby’s evolution as a storyteller, and his vulnerable side can be seen in songs such as “Russian Roulette” or “Real Spill.” However, the album proves to be somewhat bloated with songs like “Heyy” that seem like low quality filler. In spite of this, Lil Baby delivered a great album showcasing some of his most brilliant work, amid the high expectations of awaiting fans. 

Real Spill 4/5

Stand On It 4.5/5

Pop Out (feat. Nardo Wick) 3.5/5

Heyy 2.5/5

California Breeze 4.5/5

Perfect Timing 4/5

Never Hating (feat. Young Thug)  5/5

Forever (feat. Fridayy) 4/5

Not Finished 4/5

In a Minute 3/5

Waterfall Flow 3/5

Everything 3.5/5

From Now On (feat. Future)  3.5/5 

Double Down 4.5 /5

Cost To Be Alive (feat. Rylo Rodriguez) 3/5

Top Priority 3/5

Danger 2.5/5

Stop Playin (feat. Jeremih) 2/5

FR 4/5

Back and Forth (feat. EST Gee) 3.5/5 

Shiest Talk (feat. Pooh Shiesty) 4/5

No Fly Zone 4/5

Russian Roulette 3.5/5