Friday, May 24th, 2019

DaBaby – Suge (Yea Yea)

A nod to Suge Knight in 2019? Maybe “cancel culture” isn’t something you can alliterate into existence after all…


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Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: “Suge” is relentless because DaBaby is. Despite the brilliance of JetsonMade’s beat (especially that little 808 figure that chimes in like a reward every few bars), the main attraction of “Suge” is purely in the artist formerly known as Baby Jesus. His delivery is perfectly balanced — just intense enough to let his lines hit you like combo attacks, never giving you a breather, but still leaving the impression that his tossed-off jokes and ad libs aren’t his final form. It’s a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded rap scene, the rare fluke hit from a rapper who’s neither one-note nor overthinking it.
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Nortey Dowuona: A frisky synth tone follows distorted, but still bubbly bass drums and slithering percussion as DaBaby coolly swaps gleeful brags with delighted, rictus grin jokes.
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David Moore: DaBaby’s selling point for me is that he’s sometimes funny — cf. “Babysitter” — but this one is all filler, the bounce and patter creating the opportunity for charm that never arrives.
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Joshua Minsoo Kim: Minimal but confident, “Suge” packs a punch because of its economical songwriting. That its dynamics remain consistent through the entirety of the song makes the short runtime a wise decision, but it also evokes the nonchalant cool that bolsters his braggadocio. It’s all encapsulated in the subtitle and its delivery: “Yea Yea.”
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Alfred Soto: His flow has the expert snap of a guitar prodigy hitting his strings. Writing a song to and for Suge Knight, however, strikes me as the gesture of a guy who needs to get out more.
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Iris Xie: The push-pull rhythm of the opening hook and the blunted synth in the back helps anchor DaBaby’s swag as carefree but alert. The rap is flippant and angular, and the trails of space DaBaby leaves in his wake create a sensation of a singular, comfortable groove. “Suge (Yea Yea)” is a welcome song during a tiring day, when one needs a song to carry you forward into the next hour. 
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