There’s potentially no artist who more accurately sums up the national mood than one Dominique Armani Jones. The Atlanta rapper, better known as Lil Baby, is the modern bard of exhaustion. Across years and songs, he’s rewritten, recontextualized, and perfected a central thesis — that being tired is, in and of itself, tiring; tiredness is an emotion that knows no depths, and can be eternally renewed.
Textually, the genesis of Baby’s leading theory began to bubble and ferment on 2018’s Harder Than Ever, which is not to be confused with its predecessors Too Hard and Harder Than Hard (or its spiritual cousin, Drip Harder). On two separate songs from the album, “Leaked” and “I’m Straight,” Baby made sure to illustrate that one could be fatigued physically (“I don’t even sleep when I get tired”) as well as emotionally (“Ain’t telling you no lies, I’m tired of seeing you cry”). But it wasn’t until Post Malone’s 2019 song “On the Road” that Baby distilled his previous thoughts into one succinct and powerful bar: “I’m tired of bein’ tired.” Less than a year later, he updated his original findings on “Emotionally Scarred,” writing, “But I’m tired of being tired of being tired,” thus proving a previously unfounded hypothesis that the state of “being tired” was finite.
Texturally, Baby’s voice has also evolved to match his findings. Slurred yet urgent, his best performances, on songs like “Life Goes On” and “Close Friends,” are bolstered by the emotional weight of being through with significant others. On the song “Consistent,” Baby’s voice is raw and curt as he informs the listeners that not only is he tired of his “car,” but also of his “hoe.”
Recently, Lil Baby announced that he’s working on a new mixtape, Lamborghini Boys, which reportedly will feature only other artists who own Lamborghinis. It’s unknown at this time if the artists involved will also need to share his same beliefs regarding their energy levels.