When you look at some of the greatest revolutionaries of all time. Malcolm X, George Jackson. Huey P. Newton, Tupac, and so many others that came before them, there is a common theme amongst them. Before they found their way to consciousness they had been on a path that was totally opposite of what they had come to be known and treasured for. From being convicts, to drug dealers, to thieves, their former lifestyles was necessary in shaping their future. This in turn made them of the people and allowed to still have the respect and talk to people that were still living that lifestyle in order to steer them in the right direction. Lil Baby much like the great leaders mentioned earlier has come out with a uncharacteristic song (called "The Bigger Picture") with a message that he hopes will also steer his people to the promised land.
I can't lie like I don't rap about killing and dope,
From the opening of the track no one would think that this is a Lil Baby track. Not because this is not a topic he speaks on, but the message is usually drowned out with bars about selling drugs and buying expensive cars. Drowned out is the message that black people have been disproportionately harassed and killed by law enforcement. This song was different in that it put the topic front and center. Impressively Lil Baby didn't shy away from the fact that his prior songs weren't directing his people in the best direction but at the same time not a lot of the artists that you would've expected to step up did. Artists like J. Cole and Kendric Lamar who have been known to speak on a more conscious level had been quiet. Lil Baby in this moment choose to stand up and use his platform the best way he knew he could. To help the world see the bigger picture. AND IT WORKED!
One of the most compelling elements of the track is the beat, is it's gritty, uptempo. and heavily trap influenced production show the mastery of producers Noah Pettigrew & Section 8. The beat creates an restless feel. A feeling that you can't wait. There's no brakes. No asking. No more waiting. The only that matters is for a change to happen NOW. Even more power was the opening of George Floyd ending in the worst words you can ever hear. "I CAN'T BREATHE".
Lil Baby's melodic auto-tune voice comes at you rapidly in a machine-gun like tone piecing the beat. His lyrics are an insight into first hand experiences that has happened to countless people who listen to his music. "They trainin' officers to kill us, then shootin' protestors with these rubber bullets. They regular people, I know that they feel it. These scars too deep to heal us. What happened to COVID? Nobody remember. " Lines like these shows a side of Lil Baby that people aren't normally used to. Maybe it's a side that people around him know about, but to the public, this is a side he hasn't shown. But to be honest hip-hop and more importantly the world needed to hear this. Throughout this song Lil Baby is highlighting the very things that has resulted in too many lives being gone. Too many names and faces on t-shirts. Too many mothers and fathers gone. How much it too much? 1.
The Bigger Picture was a gamble for Lil Baby because this isn't what he's known for. But at the same time it isn't because he's always made music for the people. And right now this is exactly what the people needed. This isn't to say that Lil Baby has by any means did as much for the cause as Malcolm X or even Tupac. But maybe this is the spark that we need to help unite the people just like a Tupac would've.
Checkout Lil Baby's new video "The Bigger Picture" below: