New Musical Express (NME) - 80 Based on rating 4/5
The Carolina rapper has long been admired for his cockiness, but here he dials down the braggadocio, reflecting on the hardship and loss of family life Rap’s dark horse DaBaby - real name Jonathan Lyndale Kirk - hasn’t come to play with his new album. He’s renowned for his absurd cockiness, and his performances and madcap music videos prove his sense sharp of humour. But the rapper’s second album, ‘KIRK’, is more serious in tone than his previous output, showing us how he’s grown since his debut studio album ‘Baby On Baby’ was certified Gold in America.
A mainstream-annoited rapper like DaBaby doesn't come around that often. As the art of emceeing continues to get pushed further down in favor of melodic crooning, it's a marvel to see -- and hear -- a rapper who can still marvel with actual bars. From the naked eardrum, the North Carolina-bred MC effortlessly threads the needle between commercial accessibility (his breakout single "Suge" hit No.
DaBaby hasn't turned down a check since the Fourth of July. On that night, Dreamville debuted "Under the Sun," a record that features the Charlotte, North Carolina rapper sounding like a local drug dealer that found God. Since that moment, nearly every pop-rap hit has gotten the DaBaby touch. This summer alone, the 27-year-old landed on tracks from Chance The Rapper, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Post Malone.
The Lowdown: Rap moves too fast. It's not healthy. Lil Uzi Vert should not feel "old." Fetty Wap should not feel like a relic. Tyler, the Creator should not be an elder statesman. Kanye should not be in a retirement home. (Well. Maybe he should.) As we approach the 2020s, it's worth realizing that ….