A few months ago, just as the quarantine era was starting to set in, the young Atlanta melodic rap star Lil Baby released the big, splashy, pretty good album My Turn. Today, Lil Baby has followed up the album by taking a very different turn, releasing the benefit protest single “The Bigger Picture.” He’s pledged that all proceeds from the song will go to “support the movement.”
“The Bigger Picture” opens with samples of newscasters talking about George Floyd’s murder, widespread protests, and brutal police responses to those protests. Then, over a hard drum clap and a dramatic piano, Lil Baby goes into vent-mode, sing-rapping about his own experiences and those of the people he’s known: “It’s too many mothers that’s grieving/ They killing us for no reason/ Been going on for too long to get even/ Throw us in cages like dogs and hyenas.” But as the song goes on, Baby talks about the need to make deep societal changes: “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.” At the end of the song, Baby is rapping over Black Lives Matter chants.
It’s a personal issue for Lil Baby. As a teenager, before he got famous, Baby spent two years in prison on marijuana possession. “The Bigger Picture” is a stirring and ultimately optimistic song, and I honestly found it pretty moving.
UPDATE: “The Bigger Picture” now has a music video as well, filmed at a protest in Atlanta. In an Instagram post, Lil Baby announced he’s donating the proceeds from the song to the National Association of Black Journalists, Breonna Taylor’s attorney, The Bail Project, and Black Lives Matter. Watch below.
“The Bigger Picture” is out now on the streaming services.