Is there a problem, y’all? Let’s talk about it.
The reigning Queen of Hip Hop Nicki Minaj and Atlanta rapper Lil Baby dropped their long awaited collaboration, in the form of “Do We Have A Problem?” at midnight last night (or, this morning, depending on how you look at it).
Prior to the single premiering, Nicki hyped it to the fullest extent on social media. Even, going as far to express that Lil Baby may have bodied her on this track. Nicki stated to her fans on Instagram, “y’all know I always keep it real about verses and all of that. Lil Baby, he might have… he might have got me! But listen, the point is: Lil Baby went super-duper hard—pause—and it’s so refreshing to see people still care about that type of stuff. I still care about it.”
Now, here’s my opinion. After seeing that “Do We Have A Problem?” had made it to the homepage of my Tidal, I decided to give it a listen around 6:30 this morning. I didn’t think it was fair to check it out just one time and pass my judgment; so, I made it my business to play the track about 10 to 12 times. Not back to back, of course; I took the liberty of spreading it out over time throughout the day.
“Do We Have a Problem?” produced by Papi Yerr, who has worked with the likes of T-Pain, Kodak Black, NBA Youngboy, and Chris Brown, has now added Nicki Minaj and Lil Baby to his production resume. But, did he hit the mark?
In my overall opinion, the production, in addition to the deliverance from both Nicki and Lil Baby, were overhyped efforts that turned out to be lackluster from start to finish.
My expectation for Nicki was much greater than what she delivered. This is supposed to be the track that gets her fans chanting each lyric word-for-word, and makes the naysayers believers. This one failed the assignment. Check out the video:
As I mentioned in the opening, Nicki is one of the coldest rappers to ever grace a microphone. This woman has destroyed rap legends, such as Jay Z, Wayne, and Ye on tracks before. She has paid her dues and marked her spot in this industry. But, I’m sorry (not sorry), this just wasn’t it.
Listening to Nicki’s flow on the first verse of “Do We Have A Problem?” gave me “Bodak Yellow” vibes, with the choppy word play. I’m not sure if that was the producer’s or Nicki’s goal, but it was Cardi-esque, to say the least.
Let’s move on to Lil Baby. Frankly, I don’t get the hype. Lil Baby sounds like nearly every other youngster from Atlanta, who decides to pick up the mic to call themselves a rapper.
He may be nice and have a good heart, and that may be the reason Nicki picked him, but nothing about his presence on this song makes him stand out. I mean, I wouldn’t be able to pick his voice out of a line up of NBA Youngboy, The Migos, Lil Gnar, or any other young up-and-comer from Camp Creek Pkwy to Bouldercrest Rd.
A distinctive voice is one the main ingredients that catapults a rapper into legendary status. And right now, Lil Baby just does not possess that ingredient.
Don’t get me wrong. “Do We Have A Problem?” is not pure toilet water. It had potential, but it just turned out to be mediocre. I can’t accept that from the woman who delivered that astounding flow and shockingly magnificent lyrical gymnastics on Kanye West’s “Monster” as she raps, “you could be the king, but watch the Queen conquer.” And that’s exactly what she did when she lyrically murdered every other rapper on that joint, including the author himself—Mr. West.
That was then, but this is now. Hopefully, this was just a snafu; I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more conquering, when she drops her new album, which is slated to be released this summer.