Rapper DaBaby’s newest single, “Intro,” is a more than worthy addition to the Charlotte, North Carolina rapper’s repertoire. DaBaby has characterized himself as a confident, almost imposing figure in his previous work, in which he expertly intertwines toughness and goofiness into a bold sound that feels like it’s holding nothing back. With DaBaby’s new track, he shows a vulnerability that we’ve never heard from him, and proves that there’s much more to this artist than we could’ve anticipated.
DaBaby “Intro” – official music video
The track opens with a medium shot of Jonathon Lyndale Kirk walking slowly down the middle of a church aisle. He’s dressed in black and chain, and instantly launches into a raw, real tirade. For the first moment in a DaBaby music video, it seems that we see past the persona that DaBaby has built for himself. As he addresses the sober reality of his father’s death, so too does he reflect on the fact that he has skyrocketed in fame at the same time. Kirk speaks frankly and earnestly, and we can hear his falter when speaking of his daughter.
“Thinkin’ ’bout my grandmama and shit
I got the number one record, they acknowledged the jit (Ayy, yo, Kid)
They goin’ crazy when they play it, head bobbin’ and shit
And I’m just somewhere fucked up thinkin’ ’bout my father and shit
They found him dead a couple days before I started tour
Same day I flew back to the city from Miami
I was out there with the family
Just lookin’ at my daughter
Thinkin’ to myself like, “Damn, my baby look just like my daddy”
As his usually controlled baritone falters on the line about his daughter, it’s an abrupt moment of heartbreak that resonates throughout the rest of the track. As the song develops, the DaBaby quickly reasserts himself, declaring his position as someone of relevance and fame. We hear his familiar sense of humor, but the mood has been spoiled. As he raps his accolades and accomplishments, it seems like he’s trying to convince himself of something.
The video is shot hauntingly by burgeoning production group Reel Goats, which DaBaby has previously collaborated with on his breakout single “Suge.” While portraying joyous events in moments of sunshine and light, a darkness is inherent in every frame, draping the entire single in a stark, almost bleak atmosphere. The metaphor rings loud and clear, and is punctuated by the pained smile of Kirk as he gazes into the camera’s lens. The video ends, and uncharacteristically for the artists, there’s no boisterous credits footage. The song simply ends, and leaves a silence in its wake.
DaBaby has shown up and injected a new form of artistry into modern hip hop. With insightful lyrics that punch through the loud comedic stylings, the artist has demonstrated that he’s just as smart as he is entertaining. The title of the track, “Intro,” promises us that this is just the start of something, and we’re all eager to see just what that is.
Watch DaBaby’s other video, “Baby on Baby,” featuring Lil Baby here on CKHiD next: click here.