Photo: Dave Free
Back in March, Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free announced the launch of a mysterious new "service company" called pgLang. According to the website, "pgLang is focused on using [its] experiences, and nurturing [its] many collaborators, to build stories that are equally accessible and engaging then fitting them within the best media." Aside from the vague description, the only clue on the website is a visual mission statement starring Baby Keem, Yara Shahidi, and Jorja Smith. The brief video also features music by Florence Welch and Kamasi Washington.
After a few months of radio silence from the new venture, pgLang has finally debuted its first release with none other than Baby Keem.
Baby Keem seemingly crashed onto the scene in 2018 with The Sound of Bad Habit, followed swiftly by his debut studio album DIE FOR MY BITCH in 2019. The 19-year-old rapper catapulted to sensational popularity within a matter of months. That's why it came as no surprise when XXL Magazine named him as one of their 2020 Freshmen, alongside trailblazers like Mulatto, Fivio Foreign, and NLE Choppa. Following his notable absence from the XXL Cyphers (which are widely regarded as an inaugural event) earlier this month, Baby Keem is now back with his first release since 2019, a surprise double singles pack.
"sons and critics freestyle" captures the infectious braggadocio that lit up DIE FOR MY BITCH. While fans speculate about why Keem did not partake in the Cyphers, "sons and critics freestyle" shuts the naysayers down. His pointed jabs dance around the backbeat as he taunts, "It's a lot of funds around
me / rap sons around me, get the fuck from 'round me." He even gives a couple nods to his pgLang affiliation throughout the track.
In contrast, "hooligan" features a soothing piano riff led by a whistling instrumental. On "hooligan," Keem gets contemplative as he reflects on (and flexes) his newfound lifestyle; the California rapper drops lines like, "I cannot fuck with no corny bitch / I give 'em ten and be done with it." The "hooligan" video sees Keem stare silently at the camera as a myriad of women perform the song in his stead.
"hooligan" and "sons and critics freestyle" are rumored to be the lead singles for Baby Keem's upcoming sophomore studio album.
Listen to "hooligan" and "sons and critics freestyle" below: