It’s a hot summer in Detroit.
Fresh off the biggest tour of his career, Babyface Ray isn’t taking the summer off. Eager to capitalize on his newfound reach following the successful Courtesy of the Mob Tour, this week Face delivered 16 new tracks with Summers Mine – feeding the growing interest in the particularly understated take on the infectious Detroit sound he and the Wavy Navy have helped introduce to the masses.
Moreover, with the release following closely behind Veeze’s Ganger and LUCKI’s S*x M*ney Dr*gs, Babyface Ray has officially completed the holy trinity of nonchalant midwestern rap for the summer – answering the prayers of hustlers, scammers and cool kids across the nation.
Just when you think you’ve got Babyface Ray figured out, he continues to find the sweetspot between giving fans that classic, acquired-taste Face and expanding the boundaries of his signature sound – experimenting with melodies, tempos, and vibes on Summer’s Mine as he alternates between mob boss, family man, and introspective ex-underdog thankful to have graduated to the majors.
In the lead up to the album, Face offered up two very different vibes to set the tone for the project. In June, he dropped the perfect song for the summer with “All Star Team” – hopping on upbeat, clappy production to create the perfect blend of Detroit and Milwaukee and and excellent opportunity to break out the infectious disco fingers. In contrast, earlier this month he jumped back in his moody bag and directed a black-and-white visual for the second lead single, “Donda Bag.”
To accompany the release, and tide over the insatiable demand for Detroit’s newest superstar following his auspicious debut, last week Face and Veeze dropped the music video for “Bosses Link With Bosses.” The dynamic duo blessed fans with yet another electric collab and offered a glimpse at overseas tour life as they wrapped up their last sold out date in the UK – fittingly followed by “Leaving London” on the tracklist which goes to show just how up-to-date the bars on Summer’s Mine are.
While he’s throwing out first pitches and selling out international tours, there’s no doubt Ray has hit the mainstream. And still, he takes his role as the FACE seriously and remains fiercely committed to putting on for his city. The production on Summer’s Mine comes courtesy of an impressive list of coveted Detroit staples including Space (“I just need my Space right now”), go-to engineer Sharif, Top$ide, Tana Fully Loaded, Treeze, and Hoodrich Keem – as well as MawtyMaw, Cash.made.it, CameOne, Punchmeinjay, and more. Ray even earned himself a production credit on “Big Meech Holiday.”
With the limited feature list on Summer’s Mine, he shines a spotlight on some of his favorite new faces in hometown duo Los & Nutty and Houston’s King Hendrick$. He also reunites with Vory for one of the project’s most polished moments on “Dancing with the Devil, Pt. 2” and branches out from his usual with a feature from Westside Gunn on “Fly Gods” – contrasting his laidback delivery with the wild and equally unorthodox energy of Griselda’s WSG.
As he approaches a decade in the game and admits he “Can’t Rap Foreva” on the project, somehow it stills feels like Babyface Ray is still just getting warmed up. Over the last two years he’s elevated from a fringe cult-star who “raps offbeat,” into your favorite-rappers-favorite-rapper – graduating from the gritty white house studio on Daisy Lane to the actual White House with an appearance on Obama’s Presidential Summer Playlist.
With the rest of the country finally beginning to catch up to what’s been brewing in Detroit, the summer, the city and the future are Babyface Ray’s.
Listen to Babyface Ray’s ‘Summer’s Mine’ below!