Unfuckwitable [Deluxe Edition]

Babyface Ray

(Digital Download - Empire / Wavy Gang #)

Review by Fred Thomas

Detroit rapper Babyface Ray rose up on the back of multiple prolifically released mixtapes and collaborative projects. Though his style is raw street rap, his laid-back delivery and old school-informed production coat his otherwise gruff tracks with a smooth finish. The Unfuckwitable EP is a short outing for Babyface, with just seven tracks, but its back-to-basics instrumentals and solid performances make it some of his most captivating material. Many songs are made up of little more than booming 808 bass thumps and minimal melodic elements, as with the uptempo "Allowance." The song's spacious instrumental loops an eerie piano figure and a steady rhythmic push, making space for Babyface to trade amped-up bars with fellow Detroit rapper Kash Doll. Slightly psychedelic trap elements in "Pink 10s" bring the sound out of old school territory, but Babyface Ray is at his best when the production goes in the opposite direction. The lumbering midtempo bass, electronic percussion, and record-scratch sound effects straight out of the '80s on Moneybagg Yo-featuring "If You Know You Know" are blunt, minimal, in-your-face fun on the same level as an early Too Short track. Babyface Ray changes up his flow and approach with each song, but hits with the most impact when the beats give him enough space to comfortably let loose.

blue highlight denotes track pick