It’s a good day. It’s Friday. The sun is shining. Kevin Gates dropped a new album. DaBaby dropped a new album. A first listen of either is extremely promising– they’re both very strong, in different ways. Where DaBaby (who, lest we forget just released Baby On Baby a mere seven months ago), went a feature-heavy route, Kevin Gates went the complete opposite: a sure contender for the platinum-with-no-features award that the Internet loves to dole out. Where DaBaby kept his tracklist slim, at only 13 songs, Gates once again veered left, giving us a stacked list of 17 songs. It’s interesting to compare and contrast these two albums, not for any musical similarities but for the simple fact that we’re seeing two completely opposite approaches to the album in our streaming era work effectively.
It’s not every artist that can pull off an almost-20-track album– in fact, more often than not, this is regarded as a ploy for numbers (“something”‘s gotta hit type of attitude), and oftentimes, it leaves the listener pressing “skip” more than pressing “play”– yet Kevin Gates pulls off 17 songs masterfully. There’s no boredom littered in between the opener “RBS” and the closer “Fly Again,” he keeps our attention locked with musical versatility that also showcases a few as-of-yet unheard Gates’ flows, and not to mention, a wealth of insightful/retrospective/story-telling lyrics.
DaBaby, on the other hand, gives us what I deem to be an almost-perfect amount records. Despite having nine features– you do the math, there are thirteen songs– he is still the boss of this thing. He’s still steering the boat (not sure why I had to bring Megan Thee Stallion into this), he’s still the most enjoyable thing about Kirk. With the album being released so close to his last one, it’s also interesting to see what’s changed– or hasn’t– since his overnight success and rap game takeover (to be clear, his success was far from overnight, but it seems like his level of fame did sky-rocket that way). He’s still bringing us unique lyrical subject matter, and a dose of humour tied into his gangster attitude.
NOW, comes the difficult part. We’re making you choose. Choose between these two very strong albums. If you had to pick one. Which you do. Below.
Please use the comment section as a way to debate the merits of either/or.