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Review | BabyTron is more than meets the eye


Every rapper has multitudes of them, but BabyTron has layers of them. He’s like an eternal Gobstopper whose outermost surface involves rhyming in a deadpan tune so fascinating that it currently stands as one of rap’s coolest missteps. It hides its next layer, wit and absurdity, captured in an outpouring of playtime talk about cartoons, NBA stars, sports cars, video games, crime fantasies and moments of pharmacological pleasure. But apparently, at his core, this young rapper from Michigan is a technician — a detail-oriented chatterbox, prone to rhyming eight or more lines in a row, frequently adopting lyrical premises that have him running through the numbers or letters of the alphabet . So, to summarize: inside the stoic is a comedian, and inside the comedian is a diligent rap student with a rhyming dictionary and a calculator.

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It all seemed obvious onstage Wednesday night at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, where BabyTron added a sartorial layer to the mix — big coat, big sunglasses, big fountain of hair spouting from the back of a baseball cap pulled low on the eyes. Don’t ever show them you’re sweating, right? Or smile. Or a wink. Or use any facial musculature that might signal what’s really going on inside the Gobstopper. Which means BabyTron kept a straight face throughout “Crash Yo Whip Music“, his voice doing seriously propulsive work as he told a simile-rich tale of ascension, from “toasted like paninis,” to feasting on “linguine,” to haunting a mansion “like Luigi,” then through an interlude involving a ‘raclette’, a ‘bikini’, a sip of ‘Fiji’ and a slant-rhyming metaphor about NBA Hall of Famer Dirk ‘Nowitski’ to finally feeling ‘like Da Vinci” while “looking at my bank account, someone is coming to pinch me”. Me.”

He was climbing the mountain of life like a child climbing a jungle gym, and although he didn’t seem to like it much, of course he did. Comedians don’t laugh at their own jokes. Magicians are not surprised by their own tricks. BabyTron certainly doesn’t need to have as much fun as we do. Even his team of fashionable men spent the majority of the show standing sentinel at the edge of the stage, barely nodding their heads to the beat. It looked like they were waiting for the bus.

As for everyone else in the audience, they finally seemed to realize that the bus wasn’t arriving about halfway through the set during “Zap Zone”, an energizing duet between BabyTron and wild Milwaukee rapper Certified Trapper, each of their verses punctuated with captivating eighth-note claps. As the assembled flock eagerly raised their hands above their heads to applaud, BabyTron presented himself as a shepherd of souls and an exasperated driver in the same ribbon of breath: “Honkin’ like a bad guy in that ‘ghini, catch me Lamb’ pushing. »

There was also more discreet glare. “A2Z” gave BabyTron the opportunity to alphabetize his boasts as if “Sesame Street” was rated M for mature, while “Ex” – from his new album “Case Dismissed” – produced a list of spells cast by a scorned lover. “I hope the mosquitoes bite her where she can’t reach,” BabyTron rapped. “I hope she grabs the last slice of pizza and drops it.” Unsurprisingly, he didn’t seem like a derelict hater so much as an inspired motormouth reflecting on bad fortune. Let the hearts of all these other rappers bleed. The mind of BabyTron is at work.


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