DaBaby is all smiles as he climbs to the top of hip-hop.
The North Carolina rapper, who will be making appearances all over South Florida ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium, keeps bopping away while he saves us all from ourselves, slapping haters at every turn.
“I’m a bit different and they dig it/I’m unorthodox as a mothafucker.” DaBaby knows he’s something we haven’t seen before, and he basks in it. Tight chains, big cheesin’, and relentless bars while he dances between discussing what will happen if you cross him and deeply humorous lyrics. Could be he’s the Benny Siegel of the hip-hop world. He has almost a controlled mania that relates and blends well with his ear for production. Sarcasm and humor play a heavy part in DaBaby’s lyrics, which speak to his unique point of view. His style exemplifies the tragedy of our times. All smiles while he celebrates his career and being himself while still giving off a “don’t be foolish around me” vibe.
DaBaby’s joy for theatrics plays perfectly with the videos he has dropped over the past year. From dressing up like Suge Knight on the track “Suge (Yea Yea),” where he raps about his ascension to boss status while they dance in a soul train line in corporate surroundings. Then flip it to the video for “Carpet Burn” off his album Baby on Baby, where DaBaby is a maintenance man rapping about getting his skin rubbed raw from … well, you know from what. We’ve all been there. Getting wild on carpet can leave you with some serious skinned-up knees. Finally an artist is speaking to the problems we Americans are dealing with today!
As music trends flow, mixing genres and styles with it, we are seeing more and more lunatics splicing together all different types of sounds to accommodate their creative pursuits. With DaBaby we get to see, at times the hyper-lyrical that gives homage to artists like Lil Wayne, but also an old school pimpin’ vibe like we got with Too Short, and finally that bully swagger we find in an artist like Bun B. DaBaby is a quagmire of style that can look almost as if he’s a parody, then in another breath, knock you out for questioning his greatness. His persona speaks to the complicated era we live in and he dropped two albums between March and September 2019. In Fort Lauderdale: 11 p.m. Friday, January 31, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave.; jointherevolution.net. Tickets start at $60 via ticketmaster.com.
EA Sports Bowl. With DJ Khaled, DaBaby, Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, and others. 8 p.m. Thursday, January 30, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd.; aaarena.com. Tickets cost $50 to $400 via ticketmaster.com.
Shaq's Fun House. With Pitbull, Diddy, Tiësto, Diplo, DaBaby, and others. 9 p.m. Friday, January 31, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St.; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $249.99 to $100,000 via tixr.com.
Sports Illustrated the Party. With Black Eyed Peas, Marshmello, DaBaby, and DJ Irie. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 1, at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave.; fontainebleau.com. Tickets cost $500 to $40,000 via tixr.com.
Vewtopia Music Festival. With Cardi B, Migos, DaBaby, and others. 4 p.m. Saturday, February 1, at 19261 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens; vewtopia.com. Tickets cost $99 to $995 via seetickets.us.
Amara La Negra
In case you are looking for a little more of that Latin flavor, your hips have nothing to fear — Miami native Amara La Negra is bringing that hot Magic City vibe. VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Miami breakout star has been on a path to something great for a while now. Her bilingual lyrics speak to the (at times chaotic) duality of her hometown. Miami is today’s Casablanca, a place where cultures converge and the place is almost gritty with hustle, sex, and money, and Amara’s Afro-Dominican roots are on full display in her music. Her early stuff was more Latin/reggaeton-influenced, but you can see as she gets closer to the main stage of American pop music, she easily fuses her style with a shot of Miami glam, from the sounds to the style of her video singles. Her single "What a Bam Bam" has the production that makes you want to move every inch of your body, a 2018 Miami summer record that is infectious.
La Negra's debut album, Unstoppable, from February 2019, shows her mixing that relentless Latin vibe with sultry pop vocals. On a track like "Celebra," you want to be marching down the streets of Miami chanting the hook with your brethren. This pop record shows how far the idea of a pop record can stretch. Not everything has to be Katy Perry’s boring ass. With Fantine, DJ Alex Ramos, and many others. 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 29, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; jointherevolution.net. Tickets start at $35 via ticketmaster.com.
Anyone who knows me knows that as I get older, a sweet garage band appeals to me more and more. Maybe it’s the reckless age or the proclivity to reach back to the sounds of the past in an era of electronics and AI, but the Kimberlys are one of those bands. DIY rock that has the spirit of the gods with all the “kick you in the face” nature you’d expect of a young band strutting their stuff. Their 2018 EP Juniper Sessions is a short but relentless project that reminds me of studio sessions you find from early Rolling Stones records. Songs like “Woman” are free-wheeling, with everyone doing their own thing, but shit just seems to work out. With the Summit, Bruvvy, and Bedscene. 8 p.m. Friday, January 31, at Voltaire, 526 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-408-5603; sub-culture.org/voltaire. Cost is $5 at the door.
Citizen Cope, who started as the DJ for an alt hip-hop group called Basehead and slowly found himself holding court in the folk/rock space, dropped his first album in six years, Heroin and Helicopters, in early 2019. This recent album has come at the perfect time, songs like “The River,” with lyrics that speak to the bullshit that “they” will send you off to do in the name of love and country. "They’ll say it’s love when it’s not / They’ll send you to war and you’ll return in a pine box / Somehow they’ll claim it’s your fault / They killed that little child in the park." What I’m wondering is we have had artists in the U.S., from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan, singing about the lies and deceit that goes on by those in power and yet nothing has been done. We listen to the songs and we wave our flags, but when will we actually say, “Enough”? Well maybe someone can ask Citizen Cope, because it’s starting to feel more and more like pitchforks and torches time around here, not sure love and justice will be enough. 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 1, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-564-1074; cultureroom.net. Tickets start at $37.50 via ticketmaster.com.
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And, finally, if you are one of those pumped-up diesel MFer’s or some aspiring IG influencer who can’t help but want to spend their nights punching the sky while they sip overpriced cocktails, then take your energetic ass to see Dillon Francis. There shall be drops!!!!!! Plenty of bass drops, like impending doom before the dancehall event to save the soul of you cannibals. It will be the Show-off Your Augmented Beauty event of the week, so all of you hitting the botox dealer for this weekend, prepare yourself. Have your IV drip session on standby because we already know you guys are going to be doing way more drugs than you can afford. With Chizzle. 4 p.m. Saturday, February 1, at Rhythm & Vine, 401 NE Fifth Ter., Fort Lauderdale; 954-533-3734; rhythm-vine.com. Admission is free.