Hip-Hop | Rap | RnB
Being the cousin of someone as prolific as Kendrick Lamar can only mean one thing; the bar for Baby Keem, as well as listeners anticipations, have been set very high. But will Keem have the artistic integrity to meet these high expectations? Let’s find out.
It’s definitely safe to say that Baby Keem has undoubtedly blown up in recent months. We have seen him collaborate with the likes of Travis Scott, as well as his aforementioned cousin. He has even managed to bag himself a spot as a featured artist on Kanye West’s latest album Donda.
And after igniting the hype with these accolades, Keem arrives with his debut studio album; The Melodic Blue.
I truly started becoming more of a fan of Baby Keem and his music with the release of his teaser track “family ties” featuring, you guessed it, Kendrick Lamar. I had, of course, heard Keem spit bars shortly before this, but I was truly paying attention after this track.
The music video for another track, titled “issues”, released on YouTube, which led me to visit the artist’s page on spotify, and voila! I was gifted with the discovery of his first ever studio album. And honestly, I’m very happy that I did.
The Melodic Blue serves as one of those albums that is still quite clearly rough around the edges. However, it is such a fun album that listeners will likely pay much more attention to the positives than the negatives. In fact, this album is just as colourful as the little walkway seen on the album cover.
While we’re on the subject of being colourful and versatile, one of the most glaring qualities in baby keem himself is his vocal versatility. He can sing, he can rap, and he is clearly presenting himself as a “jack of all trades”. Going from one song to another, it sometimes felt as if I was listening to a completely different hip-hop artist.
The versatility, as expected of an experimental debut album like this one, also translates to the production. There’s so much to tuck into on this album, from the kanye-esque ballad “scars”, to the gritty and gangly heaviness of “vent” (if I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure the latter was originally leaked as a supposed Kendrick track).
However, there are a few tracks on this where the production doesn’t quite hit as hard, leading to Keems unrefined performance seeping through the cracks, and having me draw my attention to that instead.
But in my opinion, the best kind of debut albums are the ones where the artist is still trying a range of different things out. And that, is most certainly what Baby Keem is doing on The Melodic Blue.
While it’s clear that Baby Keem is still on the journey to finding his form and function, The Melodic Blue is equally a small step and a giant leap.
Favourite Tracks: family ties | scars | durag activity | vent
Least Favourite Track: first order of business
pgLang | Columbia Records
Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 6/10
Uniqueness: 7/10 | Satisfaction: 8/10 | Narrative: 6/10