Review: Untrapped: The Story Of Lil Baby

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Lil Baby & Friends Birthday Celebration Concert
Rapper Lil Baby performs onstage during "Lil Baby & Friends Birthday Celebration Concert". (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)
Lil Baby's 2022 documentary, Untrapped: is reviewed and analyzed for those curious about the rise of the Atlanta rapper.

Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby is a documentary about how the Atlanta rapper built his rap career and the things he went through while building it. He went from being a prominent name in the Atlanta streets to the Atlanta music scene. For Lil Baby, his connections to the Atlanta figures like Young Thug, Gunna and Coach K of Quality Control all had a role in taking his name to where it is today. His documentary chronicles his journey through behind-the-scenes footage spanning from his childhood to visiting his neighborhood after making it to the night he performed at the GRAMMYs.

Lil Baby’s documentary is built around how other people supported him and their roles in his journey. Young Thug and Quality Control founders Coach K and P talk about how they believed in him as a rapper and as a person. Journalist Charles Holmes talked about how his background contrasted with Lil Baby in every way but they still had an excellent interview. Drake talked about how he is one of the biggest voices of the current generation of rap. Additionally, his Mom talked about how she always knew he was different from his peers. Everyone around him was rooting for him and that pushed him to bigger and bigger opportunities and experiences. 

Lil Baby’s Atlanta Connections Started His Rap Career

In Untrapped: The Lil Baby Story, we learn something surprising about the Atlanta rapper: he didn’t really want to be a rapper. He had an established name in the streets and with that came a reputation. Lil Baby was confident people already knew who he was and respected him. Also, He also knew the money he was making in the streets was quick and did not require the work that being a rapper did. Fellow Atlanta rapper Young Thug wanted him off the streets and would literally pay him to stay off of them. He saw Lil Baby’s talent and wanted to steer him towards that more. However, Lil Baby was more concerned with his reputation and thought it would be tarnished if he left the streets to pursue rap. 

Lil Baby regularly visited Quality Control, a prominent rap label in Atlanta. He enjoyed just hanging out there and knew the people there well. Founders Coach K and P saw something special in Lil Baby and wanted to give him a better path. They saw the fact he had a reputation in the streets was the reason he should pursue the rap career. People would already know his name and be interested and invested in the music he was making. Coach K and P told him once he got out of jail he could sign to Quality Control and that’s exactly what he did.

His Hits were Organic

Lil Baby’s song “My Dawgs” was the first one that really took him to the next level. In the documentary, there was footage of small but supportive crowds singing the song word-for-word. The song resonated with people because of the things he was talking about and the authenticity behind them. Furthermore, “Drip Too Hard” was an even bigger hit because it featured another Atlanta artist that was on the rise - Gunna. In the doc, there was footage of him and Lil Baby performing the song at different music festivals. These crowds were even bigger than the previous ones and were giving the same amount of energy. Seeing this amount of growth in such a short period of time was very motivational to see. Lil Baby committed to the rap life even though he was skeptical of it initially and it paid off.

 “The Bigger Picture” was one of the biggest songs in his career. In the documentary, there was social media footage and soundbites of people saying he was hard to understand. The CEO of Motown Records, Ethiopia Habtemariam, stated this is actually common with artists from Atlanta. This song forced these listeners to put this perspective to the side and truly focus on his words. During this portion of the documentary, footage of the pandemic was shown which included people marching/protesting while masked up. Lil Baby was amongst these people as he shot the music video for the song. He stated that he wanted to talk about what was currently happening across America. He also wanted to acknowledge black people dying from police violence is an ongoing issue. His own interactions with police played a role in the song’s formation too. 

Lil Baby Respects Where He Came From

In the beginning of the documentary there is footage of Lil Baby as a child with his siblings playing in his neighborhood. After that, it cuts to Lil Baby’s children and offers a shift in perspective. He states he wants to have a real relationship with his children since he didn’t have one with his father. Later, he discussed being able to help people he knows from his neighborhood and there was footage of this as well. Seeing him drive his sports car through his old neighborhood was inspiring because without it he wouldn’t be doing that in the first place. In the final moments of the documentary he says “I’m tryna show them youngins that it’s bigger. I’m living proof…I’ll never be trapped again” Lil Baby’s documentary is a testament to the payoff a change in lifestyle can bring. 

Untrapped: The Lil Baby Story is Streaming Now on Amazon Prime.


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