A couple of weeks ago, the currently-exploding Charlotte rap star DaBaby made the absolute most of a few seconds of screen time on The Tonight Show. Megan Thee Stallion, another of rap’s most exciting new stars, was the show’s musical guest, and she was doing a medley of her own songs. DaBaby, there to do his verse from Megan’s hit “Cash Shit,” literally ran out and baseball-slid onto the stage, bringing supernova-level energy for the brief moment when he was onstage. Last night, DaBaby got his own Tonight Show showcase, and me made the most of that, too.
DaBaby just released the unrelenting Kirk, his second album of 2019, and he ran through three of its songs in quick succession on The Tonight Show. Backed by both a DJ and by Jimmy Fallon’s house band the Roots, DaBaby started out by playing “Intro,” the rough and emotive opening track from Kirk. He was sitting on a stool, but he was visibly itching to jump up and start moving. Then he did it, and he never stopped, except for the quick moment when he and his protege Stunna 4 Vegas posed for an onstage photo.
In a masterful four-minute performance, DaBaby launched through “Intro,” the Stunna collab “Really,” and “Bop.” He rapped his ass off, somehow remembering to remove all the cuss words. (Can’t be easy! He’s got a lot of them!) And he constantly whirled across that tiny stage, giving some preview of what he must be able to do at clubs and festivals. It’s a great performance, and you can watch it below.
Kirk is out now on Interscope.