Atlanta’s Lil Baby and College Park’s Gunna are both cut from the same cloth — or, more appropriately, from the drip of the same man: Young Thug. Both artists have clearly been influenced by the upper-register eccentricity of Thugga (Gunna is even signed to his Young Stoner Life Records label), in the sense that they’re both far more concerned with how their voices sound spitting their lyrics, and that the sound is (usually) slurred. This duo’s partnership started in 2017; Gunna serving as a mentor to the fresh-faced Baby, while also appearing on a handful of tracks featured on Baby’s Perfect Timing mixtape. Now, after a string of one-off collabs (including their joint appearance on the excellent Young Stoner Life compilation, Slime Language), they’s joined forces for a whole project: the appropriately titled Drip Harder. As far as recent collaborative rap projects go, this one certainly makes more use of the pairing’s chemistry than, say, the Carter’s vanity project Everything Is Love — it takes only one listen to mega-hit “Drip Too Hard” to figure out the ying-yang relationship on display, with Gunna’s low-register garble being the perfect foil to Baby’s more melodically erratic timbre. Still, the project lacks the diverse production of, say, Kids See Ghosts, relying heavily on sleepy, unmemorable beats from Turbo and Weezy. The closest point of comparison, in terms of rap collab albums, would easily be Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame’s 2011 Ferrari Boyz, on which two young (at the time) rappers, with similar sonics, flaunted their success and established a brotherhood. Here’s hoping Baby and Gunna can stay together longer than that duo did.
Published as part of What Meek Didn’t Do | The Rap Releases We Missed in 2018.