DaBaby – Feat Picks

DaBaby – Feat Picks

By Noah Temple

Recently I’ve been thinking about feature artists as a concept- someone who excels on anyone’s song but their own. It can be cross-genre or within their own niche, but the songs are always heaters. I want to talk about a few artists who’ve been popularly dubbed as “feature artists” and why I enjoy them.  

DaBaby; Photographed by Prince Williams

By multiple artists I mean just one and that’s DaBaby who’s the actual reason I wanted to write this article. If you look at songs that feature DaBaby they are all hits; they’re catchy and more often than not they do crazy numbers. Specifically, I want to focus on 3 songs that feature DaBaby and then analyze why his solo songs (which are wildly successful as well) just don’t hold up the same way his features do.  

The first song is “Levitating” by Dua Lipa. Immediately people saw this feature and went “what is he doing on a Dua Lipa song” but it really works. One thing that all feature artists have in common is that they’ve got a kind of voice or cadence that makes them easy to listen to. Another thing is that the pop production really works for DaBaby as it’s mostly claps that really accentuate the vocals. His lyrics, and the song as a whole, are just generally pretty uplifting which makes it a fun song to listen to on car rides or just something to play when you’re feeling it.  

The next song is a little controversial since it’s notoriously bad, but I’ve listened to it as a joke enough that I’m starting to like it, something I’m realizing is pretty consistent with me and the music I listen to. “Hot Shower” by Chance the Rapper is catchy and that’s all there really is to say about the song, but when we look at DaBaby’s verse we glean what could have been. He almost saved this song, and this was due to another case of his vocals working well with a percussion-heavy instrumental, which makes you wonder why his producers set him up. His verse was closer to what he would sing in one of his own songs for this but ultimately, I still liked it. I enjoy when he talks about how people undersell him specifically because he always shows out on features. 

The last song is “Oprah’s Bank Account” by Lil Yachty. Everyone laughs when I talk about this song but it’s really good; I love catchy songs, and this has got exactly that. The piano in the backing track, the cymbals, bells, and snares all work together really well and of course the DaBaby feature works really well too. Honestly, this is probably his weakest feature on this list, but it’s still solid. A lot of people reference his feature on “Under the Sun” by J. Cole when they talk about DaBaby features and I like this song a lot, but I just prefer OBA because it’s a sillier song. If you want to listen to DaBaby features though I would listen to “Under the Sun” first.  

Finally, I want to add why his solo stuff doesn’t work as well as his features. I touched on it earlier, but I feel like it’s because his producers set him up. Oftentimes they give him this flute and it’s just kind of perplexing. Ultimately all his songs are catchy but due to consistently weaker production on his tracks, he has mostly underwhelming releases.  

As a side note, the reason features are usually well received is due to the higher budget of features released as singles, and the better production from high-profile producers. Nevertheless, DaBaby makes catchy songs and flourishes on features due to his voice and pleasant way of enunciating words. 

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