Tuning in with Leila: Intro to stardom


Illustration by Yasmin Haq

Dababy released his seventh album, titled “KIRK,” on Sept. 27, which is also the six month anniversary of his father’s death. Dababy’s fan base has flourished immensely since the release of his last album, “Baby on Baby,” but after “KIRK,” his popularity has skyrocketed due to the sentimental emotions he finally shared with fans. 

Dababy starts his album off with “INTRO,” a song composed of nostalgic lyrics that offer insight into how the death of his father affected him. This song is truly different from his past work because of how direct he is with his feelings toward the death of both his father and grandmother at the time of his rise to fame in the rap industry. He raps, “What you know about smilin’ every day for all your fans, actin’ like you happy?” to emphasize the facade he held throughout that difficult time. Despite the melancholic lyrics, this song is my favorite due to how explicit it is compared to how ambiguous his songs usually are.

You’d think the rest of his album would be sorrowful to match, but think again: it’s Dababy we’re talking about here. Directly after, “OFF THE RIP” completely contradicts the message of ‘INTRO” and brings us back to the Dababy we’re all used to. In “OFF THE RIP,” Dababy is pretty much addressing all of his haters and ostentatiously flaunting his riches to them. This song has a very catchy beat that could make anyone a Dababy fan.

A few songs later, “GOSPEL,” featuring Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane and YK Osiris, radiates the ambience of a church (as you can tell from the title) and depicts Dababy going back to the theme that inspired him to title the album “KIRK:” his late father. From a religious perspective, Dababy highlights his gratitude toward his father for all he has done for him. I personally love this song because of the featured artists and the background gospel vocals. 

“TOES” featuring Lil Baby and Moneybagg Yo follows, metaphorically titled to underscore that all three rappers came from the bottom and worked to get where they’re at today. I believe everyone has the power to change the world and change their lives for the better, and this song is a true motivator for anyone struggling to stay determined toward their goals.

From “TOES” all the way to “XXL,” Dababy continues to rap about subjects along the lines of prosperity and fabricated relationships. 

Dababy is renowned for his use of anecdotal experiences in his songs, forming a marrow-deep relationship with his fans. “KIRK” delivers exotic, nostalgic sounds and lyrics that I think everyone should listen to.