After snippets circled the internet, Babyface Ray finally dropped the official version of the leaked fan-favorite, with the surprise addition of a verse from fellow Motown native 42 Dugg from behind bars.
There has been much hype around the release of “Ron Artest,” in large part because Face sounds in peak form on prior snippets. Backdropped by a calm vocal-sampled beat (produced by Gerreuax), he glides over the light and airy production using his uniquely aloof delivery to weave together dense bars and one-of-a-kind one-liners — perfectly striking that distinct barely-awake vocal tone that made him the “Face” of his city. Although currently serving some time away, 42 Dugg sounds right at home, turning down the volume of his normally energetic cadence to tie a bow on the refined collab with a short and sweet verse.
The new single has even caught the attention of its namesake, better known as the controversial NBA legend Metta World Peace, who said he felt humbled by the name drop and the Babyface Ray bar from which the title comes: “Live in the flesh, Ron Artest. Counted me out, came back I’m a champ.”
Over the last year, it has been pretty incredible to see Babyface Ray progress from a fringe, Midwestern cult favorite into a genuine mainstream contender being recognized by the most respected voices in music. While he may be a little rough around the edges (not unlike the namesake of his latest single), at this point there’s no stopping Face as he continues to step into his role as a modern day motor city legend
Listen to Babyface Ray’s “Ron Artest” feat 42Dugg below