Hot 100 Review: ROCKSTAR by Dababy, featuring Roddy Ricch

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It’s a cliche to note how lame rapper names have gotten over the years. I mean it used to take effort to make fun of rapper names. I mean Eminem, why don’t I call myself “Skittles,” you know, like that is clever or something. Nowadays their own rap names make fun of themselves. That brings us today to Dababy… yes really.

I honestly have not heard much… or anything from him, but do know people who like his music and find it entertaining. There was even a week when four or five of his songs were all on the Top 10 of the Hot 100. They did not last over to the next week for me to cover, but it still impressive. It means his skills must not match the level of intellect his name implies.

A title like ROCKSTAR sets up what the song is about pretty well. It’s about being a, well, star of rock. In specific it’s about being a rockstar gang banger. However the way the song goes about that message is unique, and uses its two artists to convey different sense of what being a rockstar of that type means.

Before getting into that it seems pertinent to look at the chorus since it is the only connective tissue, and has both of them on it. The chorus is almost impressive in the way it seems to roll every single trope of the gangster rap genre into a handful of lines. It starts with bragging about Lambos, having guns, being a rockstar cause they have guns, Glock specifically, and finally love from a significant other. None of the lines really stick out as anything special, but the use of the rockstar is peculiar. It’s phrased as a question. “Have you ever met a real [not gonna say that word] rockstar?” It is then followed up with “This ain’t no guitar… it’s a Glock…” From that perspective it is equating being a rockstar to having weapons. Furthermore with the preceding line phrasing it as a question it shows that they see it as something to brag about and be a sign of privilege and greatness.

Though that is what the chorus is saying it seems like DaBaby does not seem to fully agree with that statement.

His verse is long and split into two parts. The first part focuses on talks about how hard he worked to get where he is now, and that he has a strong connection to his mother who supports him and knows what his life is like. This points to DaBaby seeing being a Rockstar as someone who does the work on their own but still looks out for their family.

The idea of protecting family is further built on in the second part where he details in horrifying detail as he says he gunned down someone to protect his daughter, who now has PTSD. That alone is harrowing enough if it wasn’t deadly true, and illustrates the harm of the life he lives and what it means to be a rockstar. It means always have someone gunning for you (literally in this case), and you having to take responsibility for whatever comes out of that. These lines should honestly be the end to this song, and end to brag raps like these all together.

Unfortunately the song does not end. Roddy Ricch of The Box (which I reviewed. You should read it. It’s good) comes in when a second verse that is enjoyable enough, but feels tone deaf after what DaBaby brought.

Ricch’s verse is usual brag rap where he mentions driving around with guns and bling until he is almost gunned down at a gas station, but something happens. He gets away and says he’ll get them next time. I mean I think that’s what being said. He literally says “I was solo when the opps caught me at the gas station… had it on me, thirty thousand, thought it’d be my last day… but they didn’t even want no smoke… if I had to choose it, murder what she wrote.” If that is indeed he thought he was going to be killed and wasn’t for some reason i don’t know what is.

There is no official video at time of writing, only the release on YouTube, Spotify, etc.

The song is interesting, but ends sort of it an pretty traditional place. That isn’t a problem other than the fact DaBaby basically broke the rules and should be the one to end all raps like this. I really respect him for that and am interested in what other stuff he’s done.

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