It’s always a thrill to watch the mainstream mint a new star in real time. This winter, as we waited impatiently for the A-listers of the game to get back to work, DaBaby came through and put himself in those ranks through quality, sheer force of will, and a 1,000-watt gleaming-grill smile. He has a winning personality, and the music hits. No compromise necessary. How rare! Whether he’s coining his own self-referential phrases like goin’ baby, going bar for bar with Offset and Megan Thee Stallion, or delivering some of the most entertaining visuals in rap right now, DaBaby is one of 2019’s most impressive breakout rappers. Best of all, there’s no concession to his skill. He’s funny and likable, and he actually spits. Listen to the verses on “Suge” and try to tell me he doesn’t have bars. —Frazier Tharpe