Few rappers balance nonchalance and mortality like Babyface Ray. Listening to the Detroit rapper’s stories feels like overhearing a private conversation between friends–they sound confident and guarded all at once. “I can sit and tell you about the diamonds on my chest like everything’s easy,” he says at the opening of “Sincerely Face,” the latest single from his forthcoming album. After this stark admission, he recalls his past struggles (“Slow leaks in the air mattress/you should see the house now”), peppering these reminiscences with jewelry, clothing, and car talk; it’s clear that his flexing is the product of deep battle scars he can’t ever forget. His words are buried in the mix, almost like a slurry, but producer Flea Diamonds’ frenetic piano stabs and faint 808s make them ring out. Face has seen enough success to push him beyond the Detroit street rap scene where he cut his teeth, but if “Sincerely Face” is any indication, the style will never leave his heart.

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