When it comes to new age trap artists, none have had more impact on the culture than Lil Baby and Lil Durk. In a year where many hip-hop staples were absent, these two grew to be increasingly relevant through projects like Baby’s My Turn and Durk’s Just Cause Y’all Waited 2. With their respect and popularity levels at an all-time high, these two decided to come together and combine their efforts for a full-length collaborative album titled The Voice of the Heroes. With 18 tracks to paint their vision over, will Baby and Durk solidify themselves as the game’s newest superstar duo?
Despite their rise to prominence, I’ve never been a big fan of both Lil Baby or Lil Durk. Don’t get me wrong, both artists have a sizable catalog of bangers and flashed their potential on some of their earlier records, but as they’ve grown bigger, they have excited me less and less. Whether that’s due to the overabundance of filler content they release or the redundant subject matter and preliminary soundscapes they utilize, these artists have major flaws that are hard to see over from a critical standpoint. When seeing that this 18 track LP rounds out at about an hour of running time, my concerns only grew steadier. Unfortunately, the album does little to change my opinion on either artist and ends up suffering from the same issues as many other records in each’s catalogs.
As all trap projects go, the lyrical content is nothing notable, so the excitement from this LP comes from the production, atmosphere, and vocal performances. Voice of the Heroes is no exception to this factor, but for the most part, Baby and Durk fail to captivate on any of those factors and make the record anything but a predictable snooze fest. Each track is crafted with the exact same formula, and the only differing factor that can truly make a song redeemable is the instrumental layout. To this project’s demise, most of the soundscapes are run-of-the-mill dull trap beats like the ones seen on cuts like “Medical” or “Lying”. Adding insult to injury, the actual performances Baby and Durk deliver offer little to no help in adding excitement.
Both stars show hints of energy and greatness throughout this tedious listen but overall sound very uninspired and lazy. Granted, there are times where both trappers attempt to spit some sort of personal or heartfelt verses, but their rancid lyrical ability and stuck-at-the-surface storytelling makes it laughable to hear unfold.
The only times this album feels like anything special is when there’s a well-put-together beat or standout feature. Whether it’s the angelic choir’s suspenseful hums on the intro track “Voice of the Heroes” or the flip of Baby’s grammy-nominated song “The Bigger Picture” on “Man of my Word,” the interesting sonic choices make for some of the best moments on the entire LP. On the other side of the highlights, featured guests Travis Scott, Meek Mill, and Young Thug breathe some much-needed life into this tape with their respective features. Hell, hearing Rod Wave on “Rich Off Pain” is exciting just off the merit of having a different vocal presence. Out of all the cuts, good and bad, the closing legs “Make It Out” was a definite strong point due to its gloomy piano-infused instrumental that perfectly matches Durk and Baby’s remorseful and well-written verses about their rough upbringings and inner demons.
Wrapping things up, The Voice of the Heroes is another album that shows everything wrong with modern trap music. Lazy vocals, low energy, lackluster chemistry, and basic soundscapes sink the experience and make it torture to get through. There are some solid bangers and alright features that salvage parts along the way, but as a whole there’s really nothing out of the ordinary being done here. At this point, my sentiment about Lil Baby and Lil Durk being two of the most overhyped names in the game has gotten stronger, and this projects only makde me dread mainstream hip hop’s next release even more.
- Solid bangers
- Decent features
- Hints of greatness
- Lackluster chemistry
- Lazy vocals, writing
- Boring soundscape
- At 18 songs the record is way too long
Written By: Mr. Fantastic, owner and founder of Fantastic Hip Hop