Baby Keem – one of the biggest breakout stars of the year – released his long-awaited debut studio album on Friday and continued paving his path through the music industry.
The 16 track LP titled ‘The Melodic Blue’ comes during one of the most exciting periods of the young rapper/producers’ career as he continues pushing his name onto the screens of millions around the world. Ever since his first mixtape, released in 2018, he has been striving to follow in the footsteps of his cousin Kendrick Lamar. With his 2019 single, ‘Orange Soda’ reaching 98 on the Billboard Hot 100, this gave him the driving force he needed to record tracks with the likes of Travis Scott in the build-up to this album.
‘The Melodic Blue’ is perhaps one of the most experimental albums I’ve listened to in a long time. Baby Keem self-produced the album and was in turn able to craft the direction and image that he wanted rather than being conformed to any sort of stereotypes. The variety in the tracks is a welcome addition, however, at some points it takes away from the lyrics and creates a crowded listening environment for the fans. For me, this album is being used by Baby Keem as a way to prove to himself and everyone else that he is one of the best and is able to portray this through the many different music genres within the project. This becomes evident after Track 4 as the album switches up from hard-hitting bars and violent beats to more mellow and softer vocals. A track which I think perfectly highlighted Keem’s diversity was ‘issues’ as he was able to change up the whole feel of the album almost instantly. For me, even though the album is quite unorganised it still comes together and doesn’t leave the listener needing more. Perhaps this is emulating the true message behind the project; in all of the chaos, there is order.
A big surprise for me when listening to this album was the lack of features included in the track list. Typically, when a new artist bursts onto the scene they try to include as many big names as possible onto the album in an attempt to reach larger audiences than before. However, Baby Keem as once again broken the mould as he has opted to let his talent do the talking by keeping features to a minimum. Both Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar were called upon to aid the up and coming 20-year-old meaning talent was in abundance. However, for me the features were quite underwhelming. Travis Scott, who is renowned for establishing artists and providing solid verses on all sorts of songs, was actually the most disappointing part of the album. To put it bluntly, ‘durag activity’ was boring and perhaps one of the more forgettable tracks. On his return to music, Kendrick Lamar made quite the impression. His use of strange lyrics and tone switches made for a confusing yet enjoyable listening experience and definitely added a level of diversity to an already varied LP.
Baby Keem has definitely taken a very big and brave leap into the music industry with the release of this project and if he continues on his path of uniqueness and diversity, I am sure that he will be one of the biggest names sooner rather than later. That being said, this album was not perfect. Despite the praise I gave Keem, sometimes the variety was a bit too much and took away from the true meaning of the story being told. As well as this, some of the songs felt like filler to me and had very little impact on my overall opinion of the album. Regardless of my criticism, for a debut studio album this was a very solid release, and I am looking forward to future albums from this promising artist.
Overall, I would give this album a 7/10.
Written by Joe Bell