Lil Baby recently released a track titled The Bigger Picture. Many have called it a protest song, and I certainly would as well. That’s because the lyrics directly reference police brutality, COVID-19, race relations, a country divided, Lil Baby’s personal experience as a black man in America, and more.
While I think the lyrics could have been more nuanced and contained greater detail, l overall really enjoyed the song. And I was really surprised that I did enjoy it so much! I love bouncing my head to Lil Baby’s other music, but it doesn’t come close to containing the depth this release does. I’m even more impressed that he wrote the entire song by himself.
Right from the beginning, listeners can sense what’s to come. An eerie voiceover of a newscaster talking about protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death creates a very somber intro that ends with the words “I can’t breathe.”
Then Lil Baby quickly takes over and just spits bar after bar. When compared to his other music, The Bigger Picture is truly the result of Herculean effort. Lil Baby combines his trap sound with conscious lyrics and really succeeds in creating a piece of music unlike any other he’s ever made.
I’ll give you some examples of my favorite lyrics and other lyrics that I think are particularly poignant at this moment in time.
Here’s my first example- “I find it crazy the police'll shoot you and know that you dead, but still tell you to freeze/Fucked up, I seen what I seen/I guess that mean hold him down if he say he can't breathe” Lil Baby discusses the dishonesty currently permeating the nation’s police force, grounds it by rapping in first person, and reinforces that police officers just seemingly don’t care about our lives.
Another good segment is this one-”They trainin' officers to kill us, then shootin' protestors with these rubber bullets/They regular people, I know that they feel it/These scars too deep to heal us” Lil Baby provokes thought regarding both the militarization of police in America and the over policing currently running rampant through it. How can protestors protesting police brutality be met with police brutality? In what world does that make sense?
Lil Baby even manages to make the chorus catchy. It’s a really good eight line summary of the entire song. Here it is- “It's bigger than black and white/It's a problem with the whole way of life/It can't change overnight/But we gotta start somewhere/Might as well gon' 'head start here/We done had a hell of a year/ I'ma make it count while I'm here/God is the only man I fear” You can see how it just encapsulates the themes Lil Baby touches on in his verses.
The Bigger Picture is most definitely a protest song, and one that’ll most likely be played for years to come. You should definitely listen to it if you haven’t yet. I think you should even consider putting in on your daily playlist for the foreseeable future. I give this release 4.5/5 Swoops.