Detroit’s Babyface Ray has blessed fans with eight new tracks on his critically-acclaimed album, FACE – this time including several-fan favorite features they missed on the original from Veeze, Lil Yachty and LUCKI.
Initially released in January, FACE was Babyface Ray’s official arrival to the mainstream, receiving widespread praise as it debuted at No. 31 on the Billboard 200 and earned him the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Heatseekers list. Since then, Face hit another high point when he was featured on “NO SECURITY” off Future’s No. 1 album, I Never Liked You.
While the original seemed to be laser-focused on elevating his distinct brand of edgy yet laidback Detroit street rap, the deluxe feels like it was crafted to remind everyone just how Unfuckwitable he really is – scratching the itch for that smooth-talking, road-running Face fans fell in love with on previous hits like ‘What the Business Is,” “A Million Cash Race” or “Paperwork Party.”
The early standout from the Deluxe is easily “Family > Money.” Face sounds in peak form over the insanely good, chill production by Pooh Beatz as he lays out the importance of loyalty and the dangers of prioritizing money over everything else – a somewhat surprising sentiment given his taste for expensive things, on full display in the accompanying music video released on the same day.
Fans of the underground will be overjoyed to see Chicago legend, LUCKI included – a longtime supporter of Face whose understated and equally unorthodox flows fit perfectly together. Given the pair’s decidedly laidback styles, the upbeat tempo on “Back N Action” is a pleasant surprise – not to mention the eerie production and demonic voice effects on the hook.
Another notable absence from the original was fellow Detroit tastemaker, Veeze. Known equally well for his original style on and off the mic, thankfully Veeze made the Deluxe as “Spending Spree” is certainly one of the hardest-hittest songs out of the entire tracklist.
Face is also sure to show his range as he gets more introspective on mellower tracks like “A1 Since Day 1”, “100s” and “Congratulations” – the latter featuring an equally well-executed melodic verse from Lil Yachty, who helped raise the profile of the polarizing regional sounds of Detroit and Flint last year, fully embracing the scene’s biggest stars (including Face) on his Michigan Boy Boat project last year.
There seems to be something special that happens when Face links with Pooh Beatz because he feels perfectly at home on “RIP, Pt 1” in a very similar way to “Family > Money” – gliding over the deceptively simple production as he rattles off a depressingly long list of RIPs. For a few seconds he even kicks up to a higher register to give a glimpse at one of his most melodic moments yet, while opening up more than ever before as he revisits the names of the many people in his life who have passed.
And finally, on “Big Estate” there is a very notable intro from Baroline that can’t go unnoticed who, despite her rapper-like mononym, is actually the emerging powerhouse manager and A&R supporting Ray’s impressive rise behind-the-scenes – jumping on the mic to demand the respect they’ve both earned.
Overall, this was a super successful deluxe that added a ton of value to the original, rounding out his most mainstream effort ever with a few more classic, gritty Babyface Ray tracks -– and serving as a reminder to all who the current FACE of Detroit is.
Listen to Babyface Ray’s FACE (Deluxe)