The Best Lil Baby Songs, Ranked

Dominique Armani Jones, better known as Lil Baby, has risen in just a few short years from being an unknown, 22-year-old felon from Atlanta to one of the hottest stars in rap. In 2020, his second official album, My Turn, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 before earning a quadruple platinum certification just two years later. It was the best-selling album that year. Meanwhile, Lil Baby himself has become one of the most in-demand rappers in the business, working with everyone from his hometown’s fellow trap-rap staples Future and early champion Young Thug to left-field names like J. Cole and Vince Staples. His third album, It’s Only Me, is already on track to repeat its predecessor’s accomplishments, also debuting at No. 1 with 216,000 album-equivalent units sold last October (the third-highest one-week streaming total for albums released in 2022).

Even with all that in his pocket — or 4 Pockets Full, as he calls his burgeoning label, to which he’s signed rising stars 42 Dugg and Rylo Rodriguez — he shows no signs of slowing down. He’s already begun teasing yet another album even as he continues to promote It’s Only Me with videos for standout tracks like “Forever” featuring Fridayy and collaborating with more surprising peers such as EDM stars Fred Again.., Skrillex, and Four Tet. Oh, and by the way: That new album he’s teasing? It could very well be a joint project with Drake, the Canadian kingmaker whose blessing helped to jumpstart Baby’s ascent to superstardom in 2018 with the inescapable “Yes Indeed.”

So, on the cusp of Baby’s next big leap into icon status, what better time for me and my partner in scribe Yoh to look back on the best tracks that got Lil Baby here? Since Yoh is a fellow ATLien, I let him take the lead… but you’ll be able to tell when I just had to get my two cents in. Let’s go! These are the 40 best Lil Baby songs, ranked!

40. “Dive In”

Too Hard, Lil Baby’s third mixtape after Perfect Timing and Harder Than Hard (fourth, if you count 2 The Hard Way with Quality Control labelmate Marlo) saw the Atlanta rapper finally starting to drill down on the style that would ultimately distinguish him from his contemporaries and establish him as a force in the trap rap world. “Dive In” features more Autotuned vocals and a woozy, undeniable hook that displays his then-burgeoning hitmaking sensibilities — Aaron Williams

39. “Trust”

On Lil Baby’s 2017 debut mixtape Perfect Timing, he sounds raw and unformed, like every bit of the rap greenhorn that he was when Young Thug paid him to leave the streets alone and take his studio time seriously.

But even though he sounds for all the world like a knockoff Gucci Mane here, he also flashes glimmers of the traits that served Gucci well and would go on to do the same for Baby. For as much as he was a rap rookie, he was a trap veteran, and that world-weariness gleams through every bar. — A.W.

38. “Catch The Sun”

There aren’t too many outright love songs in Lil Baby’s catalog. More’s the shame because when he does deign to wear his heart on his sleeve, his efforts often yield soul-stirring results. On this Hit-Boy-produced gem from the 2019 on-the-run romance drama Queen & Slim, Lil Baby spins the yarn that many filmgoers probably wished they got from that criminally underrated film; the song has a much more optimistic outlook, which finds the Atlanta trapper letting his guard down and getting beautifully honest with a paramour. — A.W.

37. “Russian Roulette”

A favorite rap trope of mine is when artists reference prior works of theirs, particularly when they’re especially meaningful to the artist but perhaps less well-known by fans. It offers a fascinating opportunity for comparison and contrast, highlighting their artistic growth and serving as a subtle reminder that for us, it’s entertainment, but for them, it’s a moment in time, with all the related emotions attached.

Anyway, “Russian Roulette” from Baby’s triumphant 2022 album It’s Only Me features a sneaky subtle reference to “Dive In” from Too Hard. I’m a sucker for sneakily sentimental songs. — A.W.

36. “Days Off”

Another Perfect Timing standout, the time capsule “letter to himself” quality of “Days Off” gives it the charm that its predictable premise falls short of. He’s “grinding every day, can’t take no days off,” but hey, so is everybody. The encouraging note to self, though (“I know times get hard but it’s gon’ pay off”) and the manifestations on the rest of the hook make this motivational anthem all the more endearing in hindsight because as we all know, he really made these dreams come true. Plus, the harrowing second-verse storytelling is a pristine example of the form. — A.W.

35. “Staying Alive” With DJ Khaled & Drake

What does DJ Khaled do again?

Well, for one thing, he makes incredible collaborations like this happen. Like, regularly. As I noted in a previous best-of artist list, the man truly deserves some respect for putting together tracks like this one from his 2022 thirteenth (!) studio album (seriously, can we just appreciate that the man has reached a career milestone that many — most — rap artists do not ever get to see?).

Look, I shouldn’t have to sell you on a Drake and Lil Baby collaboration. They’ve done a few now, and all of them are somewhere on this list. The proof is in the pudding, baby. — A.W.

34. “The Bigger Picture”

George Floyd brutally lost his life three years ago when police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the back of his neck for more than nine minutes. Nationwide unrest followed his heart-breaking death once a video of the murder was uploaded online.

Historians who write retrospectives on the aftermath of American life throughout the 2020s must mention Floyd, Chauvin, and potentially Lil Baby, who reacted to the brutality by recording “The Bigger Picture.” The “politically-charged” song debuted at No. 3 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, becoming his highest-charting single and one of the biggest records to be released during the pandemic.

Admittedly, “The Bigger Picture” is not a perfect song, nor does it present a flawless outlook. However, it’s the sincere passion behind a venting young man attempting to offset chaos with compassion and the timing of his assertion that allowed an unlikely rapper to reach ears that never thought Lil Baby would be a voice of reason as several states in the U.S. teetered on the verge of mass mutiny. — Yoh Phillips

33. “Woah”

Pre-“Whoah,” Lil Baby had a star-in-the-making buzz. The kind of beloved-by-the-streets and revered-by-his-peers rapper that grows gradually, that wins eventually. Then “Whoa” dropped in 2019, cracking the barrier of entry between emerging and full-blown rap stardom.

Why did “Whoa” work? Was it the hypnotic high hats? The easy-to-recite hook? Or the Whoah dance that originated in Houston? The latter, on social media, sent “Woah” to the stratosphere. Becoming Baby’s first viral record to affect Triller and TikTok with engagements in the billions. Pushing “Woah” up the Billboard Hot 100 charts, peaking just below the top ten.

The QC rapper had caught the algorithm off guard, arriving with a hit that had real reach – the first of many. – A.W.

32. “Never Needed No Help”

In 2018, I wrote this of Lil Baby’s debut studio album Harder Than Ever after watching his ascent from simmering trap rapper to watch to full-boil star-in-the-making: “The rhymes tumble out of his mouth one after another like a bubble gun, but evenly, so that his voice becomes almost as hypnotic as the beats he raps over.”

This is the style he finally settled on after trying out Gucci Mane soundalikes, melodic crooning, and Young Scooter-ish bellows, and it works for him. It’s been working for him ever since. I’ve come around. — A.W.

31. “Best Of Me”

Another of Lil Baby’s many, many motivational anthems, “Best Of Me” is about counting your blessings — and shrugging off your setbacks. His penchant for painting vivid portraits of his street tribulations surfaces again in this gem from Too Hard, centering on shootouts (and their resulting regrets) and the disappointment of watching keyboard thugs glorify his mistakes.

It’s disconcerting to hear a 22-year-old admonish the youth for their indiscretions but it should really throw you for a loop to consider the circumstances that forced a boy barely out of his teens to feel the need to take that role — with the record to back it up. — A.W.

30. “Close Friends” With Gunna

While Lil Baby’s debut album set him up for success, it was his joint album with Gunna later that year, Drip Harder, that changed his career trajectory, sharply angling it upward and dumping a quart of rocket fuel in the tank. Incidentally, one of the biggest standouts from that album, though, was a solo track from LB that like “Catch The Sun,” presented a more tender version of his traumatized reformed gangster persona. To this day, it’s one of Baby’s most-played tracks with over three-quarters of a billion combined plays across platforms to date. — A.W.

29. “Fit In”

“Fit In” is yet another signature Lil Baby track from his debut album highlighted by a haunting reminiscence on his reckless, self-destructive youth. “I had a carbine I was fifteen / We tryna steal and rob everything,” he recalls. The devastating consequences of those days haven’t caught up to him yet, though; “I’m rich now and that’s why they mad.” As far as rags-to-riches stories go, “Fit In” is emblematic of Lil Baby’s core values, a thread that still runs through his music today. — A.W.

28. “2040” With Lil Durk

Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s 2021 joint tape, The Voice Of The Heroes, does not hit the same exciting highs as their solo material, but “2040” comes close without committing any deplorable crimes.

The joy of the record is largely due to the production by Flex Otb and Forever Rollin, which complements the duo’s individual strengths. Baby’s feverish flow sets a pace that Durk doesn’t quite match, but he does accelerate his delivery to a speed that’s outside the comfort zone of the slower, melodic rap-singing he’s known for.

How the Chicago rapper flips the switch, finds his footing, and performs with hastened urgency to match the missile-like stride set by his Atlanta counterpart gets better with every listen. – Y.P.

27. “California Breeze”

Hey, look. Call me biased if you want. Baby showing love to my home state on It’s Only Me can only be met with reciprocal appreciation. It does help that he’s been improving so consistently since his debut that his rapping on this track is as good as it’s ever been — something I’ll always appreciate over club or car speaker appeal. It’s also the most focused he’s sounded in his career, which is a sign of his growing commitment to the craft. After all, anyone can string cool-sounding punchlines together, but truly executing a concept is a rare and valuable skill, indeed. — A.W.

26. “In A Minute”

Ellie Goulding’s “Don’t Say a Word” was first sampled by Drake on the Jay-Z-featured “Pound Cake” in 2013, but a more contemporary flip is Lil Baby’s “In A Minute.”

It’s Only Me’s “In A Minute” doesn’t mask the source material. To directly follow in the footsteps of two giants, adding two sharp verses over a composition they touched, feels intentional. A way to align Baby’s meteoric rise with legends who did it before him without living in their shadow.

Compared to prior singles, Baby’s rapping on “In A Minute” doesn’t sound like an eager newcomer sprinting to higher heights, but a mountain climber strolling around a newly reached peak. Appreciating the view, reflecting on the path climbed and the obstacles overcome.

What he lacks in swiftness and sauce is made up in sincerity and sureness. – Y.P.

25. “We Win” Feat. Kirk Franklin

Once an artist settles into a groove, it can be a short road to complacency, where every song sounds the same and artistic growth stagnates. As popular as Lil Baby is, to an outsider, his music runs the risk of being sort of … samey. This is why the Space Jam Legacy soundtrack — and Lil Baby’s contribution to it — was so timely in 2021. Outside the context of solely serving his fanbase, Lil Baby gets to flex outside his comfort zone, with a joyous, gospel-tinged beat from Just Blaze that brings a different kind of energy out of him. — A.W.

24. “No Sucker” Feat. Moneybagg Yo

Prior to 2020’s “No Sucker,” Lil Baby and Moneybagg Yo released enough music together to make a joint mixtape, à la Drake and Future’s What A Time To Be Alive, but none of those previous tracks were produced by Tay Keith.

Keith’s supply of snappy snares, swollen bass, and stout 808s are to rappers what steroids are to bodybuilders. “No Sucker” is a suitable sample of the Memphis-born producer’s knack for creating canvases that compliment southern sensibilities.

Both artists match the lively production by letting loose lyrically. Launching laughable lyrics into a robust beat that matches their vigor and mirrors their virility. The effective trifecta that makes “No Sucker” a strong record may never become a supergroup, but it did provide Bagg and Baby with their best collab to date. – Y.P.

23. “Sum 2 Prove”

If Harder Than Ever was Lil Baby’s underdog album and It’s Only Me was his victory lap, then 2020’s My Turn was the “proving it” project, on which he laid out every argument for why he belonged on top. Among them was this thesis statement of a single, which relayed his mindset and his mission in stark, hard-hitting fashion.

It didn’t stray too far from his established M.O., but it did inject a fire that listeners hadn’t heard from him yet; his usually laconic flow is shot through with a thrill of desperation that finally matched the wordplay. — A.W.

22. “Time” Feat. Meek Mill

Meek Mill and Lil Baby are kindred spirits in bravado and braggadocio on “Time,” a Quay Global-produced showcase of rapid-fire rapping and self-assured stunts from Street Gossip.

The mixture of energized boasting and earnest vaunting doesn’t revolutionize the rulebook for lust-for-life lyricism, however, there is a certain je ne sais quoi to how they accelerate across the rolling hi-hats and buoyant keys like rhyming hellcats.

How they turn their self-aggrandizing into an addictive amphetamine for hungry eardrums looking to hear two rap titans advertise the fruits of their fame, the reward of their riches is reason enough to include “Time” on a list of Baby’s best. – Y.P.

21. “Low Down”

I don’t know how many will agree, but I find the deluxe songs added to albums rarely are better than the original tracklist. Now, there are exceptions. “Low Down” is one. The Quay Global-produced deep cut is track 23 on the My Turn Deluxe.

“I’m tired of these strippers, I’m going at nurses and doctors and dentists,” raps Lil Baby, a funny way to frame his changing interest, but much of “Low Down” is hearing a rapper aware of his elevating status.

He’s still the same Baby, a street rapper that rose from the concrete, but he’s also platinum-selling, at the peak of new-found fame, and only getting better. – Y.P.

20. “Pride Is The Devil” With J. Cole

When J. Cole unleashed his wind-sprints-and-300-shots-a-day workout regimen The Off-Season in 2021, fans thought they knew what to expect. But clearly, Cole delights in juking his listeners just when they think they’ve got him figured out as much as he does honing his craft alongside out-of-the-ordinary sparring partners. Equally delightful: Lil Baby not just keeping up with his host lyrically — after Cole’s lauded feature verse rampage of 2019, no less — but kind of low-key stealing the show. — A.W.

19. “Errbody”

It’s odd and kind of astonishing that one of Lil Baby’s most outstanding records is, for the purposes of album placement, basically homeless. What we have here is Lil Baby so comfortably in his bag, he’s just letting prime material fly for free, unconcerned with album sales, accolades, or the acclaim that comes from having an attention-grabbing track in the midst of an album rollout. Jay-Z once coined the term “lyrical exercise” for a track that wound up being a bonus on one of his most critically-acclaimed albums. Here, Lil Baby is doing that activity just for the reps. — A.W.

18. “Ready”

“Ready” begins at a slow-burning pace with ominous keys that have this softness subtle enough to furnish the atmosphere with a feeling of subdued sound. What cuts through the quiet is Young Thug’s voice, who recites six of the most iconic words to start a song: “Metro Boomin want some more, n****.”

Next comes the weighty 808s, kicking like a steel Timberland Boot on the foot of Bruce Lee. Gunna’s hook, melodic and light-footed, crawls across the beat first. Building up to Baby’s opening declaration: “I can’t f*ck with none of y’all n****s, y’all disgust me.”

His attitude, throughout the verse, is irritated and reflective, a ruminating rapper who knows where he came from, where he’s going, and whom he doesn’t want around: Maggots, crossbreeds, and anyone wishing for his demise.

And although it’s another track with Gunna, the Drip Harder duo has no other record quite like the Metro-produced “Ready.” – Y.P.

17. “Intro”

Rappers, as writers, have the poetic license to exaggerate details. There is a thrill when those exaggerated details are poised as facts – like Jay-Z rapping about losing 99 bricks. Although it sounds like a myth, the line is legendary.

Lil Baby’s version of losing 99 bricks appears on the explosive “Intro” from the 2018 mixtape Harder Than Ever. It’s a hook-free freestyle that has the energy of a giant shaking the ground with every step.

Towards the end, Baby starts reminiscing about a loss that required him to go in the safe. “I had got that shit back in like twenty-some days,” he raps before adding, “Ain’t no chump change, “I’m talkin’ bout 500k.”

It’s the additional detail about the sum that makes “Intro” a myth-making record about Lil Baby, the hustler. – Y.P.

16. “Dates”

2017’s Harder Than Hard occupies a fascinating nook within Lil Baby’s growing discography. Released just three months after the revelatory Perfect Timing, Baby’s second mixtape didn’t so much build on that foundation as it did advertise its existence. It was the second jab of a year-long combo, designed more so to set up the remaining punches to come — 2 The Hard Way, Too Hard, and Harder Than Ever. Still, it had its moments. “Dates” is one of them, presenting an invigorated Baby getting into his groove. — A.W.

15. “Exotic” Feat. Starlito

Every now and then two rappers you wouldn’t expect to collab cross paths, and the results are rewind worthy. Such is “Exotic,” the one time Quality Control’s Lil Baby and Grind Hard’s Starlito found themselves over-thumping Tay Keith’s production.

In a 2018 interview with Complex, Baby called Starlito “one of his favorite rappers.” The living southern rap legend turned in a verse for Harder Than Ever that would excite any fan. Lito’s voice follows a lively Lil Baby verse and matches the inspired performance with cold-hearted contemplation.

They’re so different, from two separate eras of southern rap, yet “Exotic” doesn’t sound like a generational divide. It’s more like hearing an older uncle, with far more life experience, do a track with his younger, enthusiastic nephew. Classic. – Y.P.

14. “Never Recover” Feat. Drake

“Never Recover” does not have the popularity of “Sicko Mode,” “Story Of Adonis,” or “Duppy Freestyle,” but it did bring Lil Baby and Gunna into Drake’s block-spinning hostility against Kanye and Pusha-T on their 2018 joint project Drip Harder

How the passive diss record landed in their hands is outside my purview, but Lil Baby did not waste the chance to make his presence felt. His rapid-fire flow closes the record with breathless flexes. “Seem like everything I get on a number one,” he boasted, a line that speaks to the self-assurance that having a hot hand will give an artist. They start to feel like Midas.

And although you may disagree that everything he rapped on was high temperature, to argue against Baby’s golden touch at the time of “Never Recover” would be like arguing against Will Smith, the actor, after Bad Boys. -– Y.P.

13. “Pure Cocaine”

Although 2018’S Street Gossip predated Lil Baby’s commercial crossover, his fifth mixtape had a major label polish that further positioned the Quality Control artist as an emerging rap icon and your favorite neighborhood superstar.

“Pure Cocaine” puts that duality in perfect contrast. The 3x platinum track, produced by Mattazik Muzik and Quay Global, starts with these gliding keys fans have compared to Christmas music. One Reddit user claims it sounds like “if the Grinch went to the hood.”

Baby’s rapping makes no mention of Kris Kringle or Mariah Carey, but he does perform with the spirit of ten Waffle House cooks hustling for the holidays, creating a record that sinks into ears like a catchy jingle but doesn’t lose the raw edge of a trapper-turned-rapper. –- A.W.

12. “Crush A Lot”

Every Gucci Mane needs a Zaytoven. Every Future needs a Metro Boomin. Every Drake needs a Boi-1da. Quay Global and Lil Baby’s producer-rapper chemistry feels reminiscent of the aforementioned pairs, especially after the 2018 release of Street Gossip.

Of the nine records produced by Quay, track 3, “Crush A Lot,” has the bounce of a Sky Zone trampoline park. The beat alone would be hypnotic enough to entrance any audiophile, but what elevates the record is how Baby puts every syllable where it should go for a flow that moves with the spring of a Mac McClung dunk.

The second verse alone, where he slows the flow down, shifting the delivery mid-verse, is a flash of how the longtime collaborators do more than make hits, they design records to be remembered on and off the charts. — Y.P.

11. “Dreams 2 Reality” Feat. No Cap

“Dreams 2 Reality” is arguably the best outro to close any Lil Baby album. Production, incredible. Rapping, excellent. The No Cap feature, impressive. Not only does he deliver a strong verse on the Street Gossip outro, he also kills the chorus and the bridge that close out the record.

In many ways, “Dreams 2 Reality” feels like a No Cap record featuring Lil Baby. Baby intended to sign Cap before a falling out split the two. I’m sure there’s an alternate timeline where they mend their relationship, and No Cap becomes Drake to Baby’s Lil Wayne.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know. — Y.P.

10. “On Me”

“On Me” was released on December 4th, 2020, Jay-Z’s 51st birthday, which happens to fall the day after Lil Baby’s 26th birthday. There’s something telling about two of rap’s most well-known Capricorns being born within a day of each other.

Of all the Lil Baby loosies, “On Me” is the one that feels like a street single with commercial appeal. It’s melodic but muscular; it’s rap heavy, yet has a sing-song hook; it has an ear candy flow paired with a diddy bopping beat.

Although it’s no surprise that Megan Thee Stallion jumped on the remix, I am shocked it only peaked at No. 15 on Billboard’s Hot 100. — Y.P.

9. “East Point Prayer” With Vince Staples

BIAS!! Vince Staples’ 2022 album Ramona Park Broke My Heart was, for my money, one of the best albums of that year and I won’t stop fighting to reverse the injustice of its relatively lukewarm reception. I get it: Vince ain’t for everybody. Combined with his reticence to play industry politics any more than he absolutely has to, Vince’s prickly personality makes him a tough sell for the mainstream rap audience.

But. But. But. He’s more than willing to work with his peers, provided their hood passes come back with all the correct credentials. Lil Baby’s does. And, apparently, so does Vince’s for Baby — the Atlantan trap star allegedly refused to charge the Long Beach native his usual six-figure feature fee because he saw in him a kindred spirit. That chemistry is embedded in every bar of this moody collaboration, which should leave fans hankering for more team-ups between these two in the future. — A.W.

8. “Yes, Indeed” Feat. Drake

If I had to predict, without looking, what Drake’s top song on Apple Music is, “Yes Indeed” would not be in my top ten guesses. But, to my surprise, the song formerly known as “Pikachu” has maintained the top spot since dropping five years ago.

“Yes Indeed” may start with a Drake verse, but it’s Lil Baby’s song – yes, it appears on Lil Baby’s Harder Than Ever mixtape, but also Baby completely raps circles around the Toronto titan.

It’s easily one of the most prominent exhibitions of how good Baby is as a fast-footed rapper. The iconic, “Wah-wah-wah, bitch, I’m Lil Baby,” shifted something in the culture. It’s been Lil Baby’s world ever since. – Y.P.

7. “Emotionally Scarred”

Lil Baby is often earnest. At times wholehearted. I’ll even say he can be candid. The latter is rare. So, when he does rap candidly, there is a weight to his words. A gravity to his gravitas.

“Emotionally Scarred” from My Turn is revealing without ratting. Sharing without saying too much. Opening up while getting feelings across that aren’t in need of further explanation.

“I ain’t got nothing against you, we human, we all got issues, but I’m tired of being tired of being tired,” hits differently when you too are tired of being tired.

“Emotionally Scarred” doesn’t drop the rap star persona, but it does lower a guard that is rarely taken down and allows for one of his most relatable songs to date. — Y.P.

6. “We Paid” Feat. 42 Dugg

“We Paid” is a pandemic classic. Although the timing, released two months after the March lockdown, was dire, Lil Baby and 42 Dugg’s 2020 banger also overlapped with stimmy checks, PP loans, unemployment benefits, Robinhood stocks, and the rise of cryptocurrencies.

As money entered checking accounts in abundance and the worry of going broke like Joc subsided, “We Paid” became a proper 5x platinum summer anthem, further solidifying Baby as a prominent hitmaker while introducing the still emerging 42 Dugg to the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and strengthening the Detroit-Atlanta rap pipeline. — Y.P.

5. Southside:

YouTube comments you’ll find under the “Southside” music video: “You can tell he put his entire heart into this song,” “Never gets old,” “Lil Baby in his prime,” and “WE NEED THIS BABY BACK !!!!”

Regardless of how you might feel about that last one, can we all agree the Southside-produced “Southside” is a moment of magnetic music and should be regarded as one of Baby’s many breakthrough bangers?

Not just a commercial breakthrough, either. “Southside” is a breakthrough in development. The confidence embedded in Lil Baby’s delivery, that sense of triumph radiating from his flow, the catchiness in his cadence, none of those attributes appeared overnight. They were earned in long studio sessions and refined through constant repetition.

Maybe we do need that Baby back after all. — Y.P.

4. “My Dawg”

A Harder Than Hard banger that sticks to the ribs and finds a rare thread of universal relatability in Baby’s catalog (everybody’s got a friend they would ride for, right?), “My Dawg” is one of the Atlanta rapper’s earliest viral favorite tracks, forming one of the major cornerstones of the success to come. — A.W.

3. “Drip Too Hard” Feat. Gunna

Baby’s first truly signature “hit” (look, “Yes Indeed” was a hit mostly by virtue of Drake’s guest appearance), the centerpiece of Drip Harder gave Baby and Gunna their first immortal banger. It still pops up in other artists’ pre-show hype DJ sets and on industry event playlists, highlighting its longevity and undeniable catchiness. With Gunna’s standing in the rap game appearing somewhat shaky of late, though, it becomes more imperative than ever to appreciate the rarity of two rappers finding such great chemistry, since we might not see it again anytime soon. — A.W.

2. “Grace” Feat. 42 Dugg

Although “We Paid” received the commercial success of a smash record, “Grace” is the better collaboration between Lil Baby and 42 Dugg. The My Turn standout is not just their best track together, it’s home to one of Baby’s most inspired verses.

He raps like greatness is in his eyes, millions are in his pocket, but there is a hunger in his heart. An insatiable need to get these words off his chest. It’s the kind of rapping that shows he can still tap into the energy of a starving artist when the kitchen has private chefs, when the garage has foreign cars, and all the bills are on autopay.

“Grace” won’t make a dent on the Billboard charts, but it’ll be the music you play to remember why Lil Baby should not be slept on as an artist with a catalog of great music. — Y.P.

1. “Freestyle”

There is a technique in the anime series Dragon Ball Super called Ultra Instinct. When protagonist Son Goku enters the Ultra Instinct form, consciousness separates from the body allowing for much greater reaction speed, as he no longer needs to take the time to process his actions. He doesn’t think, he reacts.

To hear “Freestyle” from Lil Baby’s debut album is like watching Goku fight in Ultra Instinct. His rapping feels thoughtless, he’s operating solely off intuition. and every line lands with pristine precision. There is no flaw, no error, no moment where he loses focus or the flow stumbles. It’s a perfect performance.

“Freestyle” is the art of grinding, the service of motivation, the craft of a never-stagnant style using words of classic elegance seemingly out of thin air—manipulating them at will into arrangements of remarkable grace. Classic. — Y.P.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. .