During times of trouble, many artists turn to their god-given gift of music to heal their soul. For Charlotte rapper DaBaby, he seems to be the newest name in this never-ending list of visionaries as he released a brand new EP titled My Brother’s Keeper (Long Live G). Named after his brother Glen, the project is dedicated to him as he was reported dead due to self-inflicted gunshots a few weeks ago. With all of this emotional baggage residing within, can DaBaby fight through the pain and make his most heartfelt work ever?
At his all-time lowest, DaBaby does everything in his power to give the most driven performance of his career. From the intro, “Brother’s Keeper”, it’s clear everything within the rapper’s mind-state has a new outlook as he remorsefully gleams at the relationship he and his older brother developed over the years. With a pain-filled delivery, hearing the 28-year-old rapper recite this traumatizing story and how it caused him to become a better man is both tear-jerking and empowering. Even the more traditional sounding cuts like “8 Figures” with Meek Mill has high emotional steaks as it shows a war-torn Baby analyzing the situation that has torn up his entire world. “Gucci Peacoat” was a definite standout as his fast placed hard-hitting flow eases the painful story of his nephew’s crying to him in the confusion of what happened to their father. After years of his rowdy bars, songwriting this powerful is both spine-chilling and moving. On top of dealing with his own grief, DaBaby attempts to lead the rest of his family out of this tragedy as he tells his mother how strong she is on “Shanyah”. “Bidness” continues to unravel Baby’s mind as we learn of his hopes to be reunited with his brother in heaven one day. While these five tracks do a solid job at establishing and resolving the terrible predicament him and his family are stuck in, “More Money More Problems” and “Handgun” with Polo G do nothing to expand upon the ideas of its predecessors. While these songs are not bad, the project’s ideals and core of coping with loss and depression make them uncalled for. Even with its flaws, DaBaby shows he can do more than most people in a time of darkness, despair, and uncertainty.
Sonically the soundtrack isn’t as one-dimensional as his previous album, BLAME IT ON BABY, but it’s still nothing better than your average trap record. Songs like “8 Figures” thrive against its vocal counterparts as its toned down trap drums and ukulele riff create the perfect setting for Baby and Meek to rip their demons out. Even “Shanyah” and “Gucci Peacoat” work well within this formula as their softer drums and sweet vocal samples create an angelic setting that stays within the range of DaBaby’s skills. “Bidness” was a definite standout as the electro-soul sampled vocals are both harmonic and glorious. For the rest of the production, there’s “Brother’s Keeper” and “More Money More Problems”, which feel pretty lackluster and safe due to the guitar melody within the underline as it’s obviously similar to Baby’s Billboard-topping hit, “ROCKSTAR”. While this doesn’t make the record significantly worse, it adds to the unoriginality and lack of creativity the genre is suffering from. As a whole, the sonicality is nothing to write home about, but it’s still more presentable than most records coming out in its lane.
In conclusion, My Brother’s Keeper (Long Live G) is a messy but touching body of work. From start to finish, honoring his brother and family’s legacy is done in every corner, from the adlibs to the lyrics. While I’ve never endured such a terrible experience, I can say with certainty that it’s beautiful and inspiring to watch DaBaby pick up the pieces of his family following an event so catastrophic. Going forward, I pray DaBaby and his family will eventually heal and recover from everything they have been through recently. In the time being, this therapeutic series of tracks shows the real man DaBaby is and the love and care he holds in his heart.
- Super personal and empowering stories/subject matter
- DaBaby gives everything left in his tank to create a heartfelt journey
- Honors his brother’s life beautifully
- Some filler tracks
- Some instrumentals feel too similar to previous songs of his
Written by: Marc Dator
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator founder and owner of Fantastic Hip Hop