At his best, BabyTron doesn’t give you room to escape his deadpan charisma. Pairing an indifferent monotone with eclectic pop culture references, he unspools successive, kaleidoscopic punchlines in tightly coiled couplets, soaking up jittery Detroit beats for tracks that are as funny as they are exhilarating. They’re also technically precise. He flaunts all these abilities on Out on Bond, a five-song project that continues his steady streak while distilling his most favorable qualities in tidy fashion.
Out on Bond arrives a few weeks after BabyTron was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Naturally, his mugshot went viral. Even more appropriately, he uses his mugshot as the cover, putting him in the lineage of rappers who were unfairly arrested before him. He starts off the EP by addressing the brief imprisonment, poking fun at the customary #FreeHim viral campaigns in the process. “Stop saying free me, I was out the next day — that’s a broke problem,” he begins on the title track. From there, he wastes no time diving into quips that drip humor and machismo: “Worried if I’m locked up, make sure that your rent paid/All my mans around me fresh like next year we in 10th grade.” Like other rap tropes, Tron takes the time to skew the public’s faux thoughts and prayers care when a rapper they like gets locked up, not letting people use his name for clout and get away with it.
Free-associative and fun, Out on Bond is a playground for BabyTron’s wild imagination, and the randomness he employs injects the thrilling unpredictability into the mix. On “AZ2,” he rhymes locations like Bucharest and Budapest with phrases like “too majestic” and “lose the credit,” flaunting both a gratifying level of creative ADHD and the dexterity to rhyme words in unconventional ways. It’s extravagant and fundamental.
Matching BabyTron’s spurts of mischievous stanzas and technicolor flexes is production from Enrgy Beats, Damjonboi, Certified Trapper and Hokatiwi. Aside from the more reflective final track (“Overthinking”). These would fit right at home in a video game. Its mix of energy and playful menace are perfect accompaniments for casual death threats that come packaged with a reference to Venom.
Out on Bond is just the latest in what’s been a long run of BabyTron releases the last few years. Dating back to 2021, he’s dropped seven solo projects, and in the same span, three releases with ShittyBoyz. This one maintains the high quality that’s made him a force. While Certified Trapper’s lackluster vocal contributions to “Long Nights” are a blemish, the new EP remains a super-charged, enjoyably succinct affair, and its brevity helps prevent it from getting monotonous, which is something that can happen on his lengthier projects. Like BabyTron’s best bars, it unfolds quickly, and it will usually end with you wanting to press rewind.