As one of Egypt’s most recognizable producers, Lil Baba has been behind countless hits coming out of the Mexico Crew’s vast catalogue.
His mix of aggressive sound selection with light-hearted musical ideas makes his production style easily identifiable, yet Lil Baba maintains enough curiosity and open mindedness to step outside of his musical comfort zone to embrace popular trends and unconventional fusions of genres.
His latest album ‘SEIF.’ is an exploration of the hip-hop subgenres gaining popularity in the Egyptian rap scene. The track-list carries elements from old school hip-hop, drill, jersey club beats, shaabi, afro-beats, and trap.
The album also sees Lil Baba extending an invitation to his frequent collaborators Abo El Anwar, Ahmed Santa, Abyusif, and Desso, as well as acts such as 3enba and ZVLA to feature on the album. Lil Baba himself also provides smooth and syrupy vocals on tracks such as ‘DDLLMMA’, and ‘La La La’ where he showcases his laid-back attitude and melodic flows.
While the album stands out as a playful take on the current scope of Egyptian rap, displaying Lil Baba’s inventiveness and versatility, as a whole, the album’s frequent switch in direction takes away from it’s cohesion, and makes it sound like a collection of singles rather than a threaded sequence.
‘SEIF.’ contains interesting ideas and memorable moments such as the track ‘Aho (Intro) ft. Abyusif’, where the lyrics break the fourth wall between rappers and audience. Here, Abyusif comments on taking to Jersey club beats to prove a point about his versatility to the larger rap community.
Elsewhere, the track ‘Howa Da ft. 3enba and Abo El Anwar’ contains elements of shaabi; infusing the genre with rapid fire rap flows and an electrifying energy throughout.
‘La La La’ also stands out as a highlight on the album, where Lil Baba’s sultry vocal delivery meets his vintage sample selection and afro-beats inspired rhythms.
Listen to the full album down below: