CIVIL TV: Babyface Ray – “WELCOME TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD: Detroit”
by Lupe LLerenas
You ever listen to a rapper who just sounds like he’s chatting with you? Babyface Ray has been doling out conversational lifestyle raps over smooth beats since 2010, making his presence felt in Detroit’s crowded and massively talented scene. There, he’s treated like rap royalty, thanks to his wavy brand of braggadocio, reliable stream of mixtapes, and longstanding relationship with the scene.
Ray grew up on the East Side of Detroit. In high school, he started rapping with some friends, and he was so good that he caught the attention of local legend Peezy, who took him under his wing. Over the course of the 2010s, Ray would carve out a lane for himself, first on the East Side, then, when video flooded the market, throughout the city. His 2019 album MIA Season 2 was a standout, a smattering of street tales and funk beats representative of Detroit’s music at the time.
Now something of a veteran, himself, Ray understands his role as a leader in the city’s powerful movement. On songs like “Meg the Stallion,” he makes space for newer talents. Most recently, he’s dropped the music video for “Real N****s Don’t Rap” off his album Unfuckwitable, which you can listen to here. Still, the best Babyface Ray tracks are the ones where he’s riding solo and shrugging his shoulders at shopping sprees. No one can match his energy or lack thereof.
We recently caught up with the Detroit, MI native for our latest episode of “Welcome To My Neighborhood” on #CivilTV. In this episode, he took around his hometown, his music career, growing up in Detroit, the lessons he’s learned, and much more.
In this episode with Babyface Ray we visited:
- Babyface Ray’s old neighborhood in East Side Detroit, including his first house.
- His local elementary and middle school: Wilkins Elementary and Brenda Scott Middle School.
- Downtown Detroit, his favorite restaurant Zorba’s Coney, and the Whitehouse Studio, Detroit’s new creative haven.
Check out our exclusive “Welcome To My Neighborhood” episode featuring Babyface Ray and be sure to stay tuned for more!