Babyface Ray doubles down on his right to the throne of Detroit with his new sophomore album, Mob.
At the top of 2022, Detroit’s Babyface Ray staked his claim as the FACE of his city with his major label debut. He’s defended his position atop one of the country’s hottest bubbling scenes throughout the year with a series of polished singles and ventured into your-favorite-rappers-favorite-rapper territory with top-tier collabs with everyone from Future to LUCKI to Jack Harlow.
Following a stellar rollout over the past several months, Ray is fully living up to the hype and continues to transform from a niche fan favorite to a mainstream superstar with the release of his second official album, Mob.
There’s no question that Babyface Ray is one of the key figures in the explosion of Detroit’s revitalized sound. While not everyone has yet acquired the ear for the unorthodox flow patterns and particularly understated take on the regional taste, the distinctly punchy drums and idiosyncratic sound of Detroit’s production has made its way to the streets of every corner of the country — and Face is undoubtedly one of the city’s coolest and most unique characters.
What we’re seeing with Babyface Ray is an undeniable elevation of a fringe gangster rapper from a C-market into a bona fide star with critical acclaim from institutional outlets Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Spotify’s Rap Caviar. The stark contrast between his humble Detroit hustler origins and his current status has never been more clear than on Thursday night when he made his TV debut on Jimmy Fallon, performing “Masterpiece” off the new album backdropped by the motor city skyline.
On the new project, Babyface Ray sounds focused and fully in his bag — dripping with cool confidence as he strings together unique and deceptively complex bars about the struggles and triumphs of the streets and the music game. While the challenges may be different as his star power rises, the bars are just as hungry and thoughtful as ever.
One of the things that has always set Ray apart is his ear for unusual, uniquely captivating production to match his unorthodox style. Mob features top-notch production from a carefully selected roster of producers, including certified Babyface Ray-staples Space and Pooh Beatz — instantly recognizable by their respective, “I Just Need My Space Right Now” and “Pooh You a Fool,” producer tags — as well as Sharif, LNK, K Money, Tommy Parker, Sledgren, Xynothing, and Krazy Mob’s B March and DY Krazy. If there are any artists looking for fresh and unique production to supercharge their next project, here is a good place to start.
While Babyface Ray definitely has a distinct sound that requires an acquired taste, it has been pretty remarkable to watch as he’s expanded his style to include a wide range of sounds and feels. At different times throughout the project, he channels that gritty Unfuckwitable-era Face on the Space-produced “Crazy World,” and later opens up his vulnerable side on the smooth and soulful “Vonnie Song” (accompanied by “Vonnie Skit,” a touching conversation with his mom about her sacrifices for her children). And he absolutely goes above and beyond on the double-header “Code + Love Me Some More” with one of the most polished-ever looks at the modern day motor city legend.
Showcasing his full breadth of sounds and emotions, he slows down for intimate moments on tracks like “Spill My Cup,” “Bitch Wyd?” and “Waves On Every Chain” — speeding up for hard-hitting tracks like “Brand New Benz” and “Rap Politics” and proves he can still get down with the grimiest as he goes toe-to-toe with Lil Durk and Doe Boy on “Wonderful Wayne & Jackie Boy” and “Massacre.”
With a confidently limited feature list including GMO Stax, Samuel Shabazz, and King Hendricks, as well as the only non-midwestern natives Blxst and Nija on the uncharacteristically tender lead single “Spend It,” there’s no denying that the success of Mob lies with Face’s unique charm.
2022 was already a big year for Babyface Ray. From his critically-acclaimed debut album to major features on both Future and LUCKI’s high-profile albums, his standing as one of Detroit’s foremost pioneers was bolstered by a glowing Billboard profile and a national tour to follow up his hit “Paperwork Party” remix with Jack Harlow.
Along with his growing catalog of fan-favorite collaborations — both with hometown heroes like Icewear Vezzo, Veeze, G.T. and 42 Dugg as well as fan-favorites from across the spectrum including Lil Yachty to Warhol.ss and Moneybagg Yo to Pusha T — Ray has become an understated anomaly for a new generation of gritty gangster rappers.
With his new album, Babyface Ray is cementing his rise from scrappy Detroit street rapper knee-deep in scams to the mainstream big leagues, and now stands perfectly positioned to capitalize on his unique offering and authentic brand. Whether you are a Babyface Ray stan or still wondering why he’s your favorite rappers’ favorite rapper, Mob is a must-listen.
Listen to Babyface Ray’s new album, Mob below