Babyface Ray – 2022 XXL Freshman
- GOV'T NAME: Ray Register
- AGE: 31
- REPPIN': Detroit
- TWITTER: @babyfaceray
- INSTAGRAM: @babyfaceray
- NOTABLE RELEASES: Songs: “If You Know You Know” featuring Moneybagg Yo, “Paperwork Party (Remix)” featuring Jack Harlow, “Like Daisy Lane”; Album: Face; EP: For You, Unfuckwitable; Mixtape: MIA Season 2; Guest Appearances: Future’s “No Security,” Big Sean and Hit-Boy’s “Offense” featuring 42 Dugg, Trippie Redd’s “Captain Crunch” featuring Sada Baby and Icewear Vezzo
- LABEL: Empire
- CURRENTLY WORKING ON: As-yet-untitled album due at the end of the year.
- WHO ELSE SHOULD BE PART OF THIS YEAR'S CLASS: “Teezo Touchdown. He got his own style of music. He’s hard. Baby Money from Detroit. He’s fucking hard. Veeze should’ve been on there. Los and Nutty. War Tour Mafia. Basically, all of my niggas. The whole cover should’ve been me and all my niggas.”
- INFLUENCED BY: “I’m influenced by a lot of things: my environment, other artists that I seen make it in the industry that I had the chance to be around. Just the everyday life. Fans and shit, they inspire me. Anybody who’s hard in the music game has influenced me. From Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. on down to A$AP Rocky and Future. Whoever is hard, man. I always try to take what they do and implicate it in my stuff.”
- AS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL: “I was the freshest person. I won High School Lord. Lord is like homecoming king, but you won it for the ninth grade. So as a freshman in high school, I was like the freshman in high school. I’m talking Prada. I’m talking about Louis [Vuitton]. I’m talking about Juicy Couture for men. Purple Label polos without the Polo man on ’em. Rock & Republic jeans. When everybody was doing True Religion, we was doing Nudies and all of that shit. I been fly.”
[My fans are] gonna have to enjoy these fresh-ass outfits that I’m putting on. [I want them to see] the freestyle. Just seeing me in this mode. [When the cover comes out, I’m going to] post it on Instagram with a slide of Lil Boosie daughter saying, ‘I told y’all niggas!’ For real. I couldn’t even fathom this moment. So, maybe somebody seeing me can give them the motivation and let them know that maybe one day they can do the same shit.”
BABYFACE RAY'S 2022 XXL FRESHMAN FREESTYLE
The Detroit rap scene's artists have made a hefty amount of noise over the last few years. Though Babyface Ray's entire brand is built off being stilly, his movement has been one of the loudest. By laying the groundwork and building a sizable catalog, his status in hip-hop has been consistently going in an upwards direction. That’s why he recently earned his spot in the 2022 XXL Freshman Class. The Midwest rhymer puts his skills to the test in his Freshman freestyle, where he rhymes off-the-top for close to two minutes.
The opening scene of Babyface Ray sitting on a gold throne and sporting a white, striped ’fit speaks to how comfortable he is whenever it’s time to step up to the plate. Hooded up, he spits about his rise from the pavement to the skies, and addresses his peers, who unfortunately were blocked from having that opportunity.
"My youngin’ caught a case, he been in it since the ninth grade/Fucked his scholarship because he tried to rob a dice game/When I let God lead the way, that’s when my life change/When you take a trip to go and get ’em, that’s when the price change," he raps tranquilly.
Also within his verse, which is strong enough to hit DSPs as an actual song, Ray waves off the unimportant people that come around him, declares to his enemies that he’ll let the bullets of a 9mm rip through the lane like a Rajon Rondo pass and faces his newfound status. "You know I tax niggas, it ain’t no taxing me/I had to tell her ass to slow down, quit runnin’ after me/You know yo' mans will get smoked down, he like a pack to me/How it feel that you the G.O.A.T. now? That’s what they askin’ me," Ray rhymes in between pauses to catch his flow.
Rounding things out, he speaks to the notion that his growth and relevancy is everything but limited. "Window open I’m coolin’/Concrete I grew/West love me like Snoop/I’m international, too."
Babyface Ray has been building a steady catalog for several years now. Plus, he's only getting sharper with every release like he’s got a point to prove. His 2021 album, Unfuckwitable, and the 2022 release of Face amplify that statement. Both of those efforts, led by tracks like "Paperwork Party (Remix)" with Jack Harlow and the Moneybagg Yo-assisted "If You Know You Know" on the former and "Sincerely Face" on the latter embody his trademark style, which pairs a talkative delivery and perspective of becoming a breadwinner.
According to the 31-year-old, Detroit-bred artists getting hit with the mainstream stamp of approval is a well-deserved win for everyone in his city. "The city has been seeing this work for a long time," Ray tells XXL during the Freshman shoot in mid-May. "What the world is seeing right now is what the city already saw. So for us to get this type of notoriety, it's like, they're glad we're here now type shit."
Now that he's earned a seat at the table, Babyface’s hunger still isn’t satisfied. "I really can't put no limit on it," he explains. "We're just going to keep reaching until we can't anymore, until it ain't no more that we can get. We ain't ever gonna stop."
From Detroit to the world. Watch Babyface Ray's 2022 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by Puma, below.