Album: Baby on Baby
Producers: Jetsonmade and Pooh Beatz

Not only did DaBaby have the biggest breakout year of any hip-hop artist in 2019, he may have had the best year in all of rap. Dropping two of our favorite albums of the past 12 months and tallying more Billboard Hot 100 hits than any other artist (regardless of genre), DaBaby built a bulletproof resume this year. And the cherry on top of it all was his true breakthrough moment, “Suge.” DaBaby’s crisp vocals punch straight through throbbing production from Jetsonmade and Pooh Beatz, as he delivers brazenly confident lyrics about keeping $32,000 in one of his pockets (and a glock in the other) after signing a deal with Interscope. He even figures out how to say “Tell your bro I’m a motherfuckin’ tutor” in a way that still sounds cool as hell. As rap has become increasingly focused on melody in recent years, fans have been growing hungry for an exciting new rapper who prefers a more traditional approach, and DaBaby comes right on time. Relying on a powerful vocal delivery, clever bars, and an oversize personality, “Suge” feels fresh and familiar at once. As we near the end of 2019, there is growing chatter about how DaBaby supposedly keeps “making the same song over and over.” But how can you blame him when the blueprint (“Suge”) is so good? As time goes on, he’ll have the chance to explore more stylistic territories, but for now, let’s sit back and appreciate how flawless this song truly is. —Eric Skelton