The debut studio album for Baby Keem The Melodic Blue was an album I wasn’t really too excited for just over a month ago. But after some great performances on songs with Kayne West and Kendrick Lamar especially I became intrigued and decided to give the album a listen when it was released, safe to say it beat my expectations.
Track one, trademark usa, throws you right into the album with an exciting track with Keem really showing his rapping skills off with ease. The track also includes a beat switch just around the halfway point and altogether this track is one of my favorites on the album. Track two, pink panties, switches from a harder style of rapping to a more vocally based track. The track is pretty average overall and isn’t anything I’m going to go back to. Track three, scapegoats, is a short but sweet track being just under a minute and a half. This track showcases a fairly regularly used style of rapping which Keem pulls off better than most and is easily for me the best instrumental on the whole album. Track four, range brothers, which features Kendrick Lamar is one of the most popular tracks on the album, that being a direct benefit of Kendrick Lamar being on the song. Both of them did a great job on the track and I really enjoyed them at the end of the track messing around with funny lyrics and adlibs separating itself from any other track. Track five, issues, is an uncharacteristic track from Keem being slow and sad. This versatility seemed to be the part of Keem that was missing so seeing tracks like this is great to see out of him and it’s only going to get better. Track six, gorgeous, goes to a very auto tuned style of vocals which is a theme of this album but it’s just very easy to point out on this track. This is another fairly solid track but it’s nothing too notable. Track seven, south africa, is one of these tracks that make me realize just how different Keem is from everyone else in music right now. The hook is mesmerizing and the flows Keem uses are seemingly never ending in this track. The track is pretty good but I was more impressed with the creativity than the music. Track eight, lost souls, is one of my least favorite tracks as the flow is fairly boring and isn’t anything special. The beat gets old very quickly too, the end of the track with a beat switch is cool but it doesn’t make up for the majority of the track.
Track nine cocoa, (feat. Don Tolliver), gets another feature on the album with one of my favorite artists out today being Don Tolliver. The two make for a nice duo and Tolliver as usual didn’t disappoint with his vocals and rapping on the track. Track ten, family ties, again featuring Kendrick Lamar is without a doubt in my mind the best track on this album and maybe even the best track released this year but that’s a whole other discussion. This track was released as one of two lead singles for the album and when it was released I couldn’t stop listening to it on the way up to the album. Keem went out of his mind to give his best performance on any track he’s ever made with phenomenal delivery and a beat switch in the track that is perfectly timed and executed. Lamar also did great on this track going from flow to flow in his whole verse, really an overall impressive track where both artists genuinely matched each other the entire time. Track eleven, scars, is an incredible track that really caught my attention and again may be the best track on the album in my opinion. The drums on this track are uplifting and the hook fits almost perfectly with the instrumental, this is another track that really made me so happy to see as Keem shows versatility that many artists today would kill to have today. Track twelve, durag activity, features Travis Scott and once again presents the endless versatility of Keem. Although I don’t like this track that much I can respect the attempt at trying something a little outside of the box with Travis. Track thirteen, booman, is a hype track that has a sense of swagger behind it. Keem once again finds a new flow on this track when it seemed like he couldn’t find a new one. Again, it’s another track I thoroughly enjoyed and it’s not too long so it doesn’t get old too quickly. Track fourteen, first order of business, is just ok with not much energy and a fairly simple beat; it doesn’t have a lot of substance. Even the 808’s on this track don’t hit that well so even that couldn’t save it. Track fifteen, vent, which includes Kendrick Lamar for a third and final time, brings the energy right back. Lamar, although with a short portion of the track being the hook gives the track a boost right away and a banger of a beat as well as a great performance by Keem makes this a very fun track. Before we get to the final track the album consists of three different bonus tracks lost souls (feat. Brent Faiyaz) my favorite of the three, pre-released single hooligan, and no sense. Now for track sixteen, 16, is another fantastic track that sounds like it came straight out of the summer. This track reminds me of a Kendrick Lamar and SZA track, All The Stars, which is a stunning track itself, which is likely why I like 16 so much.
Baby Keem really expanded himself as an artist on this album with much more substance and versatility than he has ever shown before. This album doesn’t really have a bad song but just a few that didn’t really impress me. I’ll give this album a 8/10 which pleasantly surprised me and has me excited for the future of Baby Keem’s music.