Two Phone Baby Keem is finally back.
Two years have passed since Baby Keem released his explosive debut Die For My Bitch, but at this point, it feels like it's been a lifetime. Rumors of him being Kendrick Lamar's cousin were confirmed, fans were treated to a small handful of singles between months of deafening pandemic silence, and the Las Vegas native ascended towards hip-hop's mainstage without the aid of excessive promotion or a series of shows. From Hearts and Darts to appearing on Kanye West's Donda, Baby Keem's rise to fame has been equally meteoric and well-deserved, and The Melodic Blue is our next entry into a story that has fans wondering where Keem will go next.
Though Baby Keem is no stranger to melody, The Melodic Blue is decorated with stylistic risks that were previously grasped at on Die For My Bitch. Like its predecessor, The Melodic Blue's tracklist is decorated with eclectic bangers, from "south africa" to the forward-thinking Kendrick-assisted "range brothers." This time around, however, fans are graced with a heavier dose of introspective and tender moments from Keem, moments that provide a stark contrast against the high-energy mixes that saturate The Melodic Blue.
Standout tracks like "issues" and the 808's-inspired "scars" do more than just show an introspective side to Keem's artistry, they establish our hero as someone with depth, a musician that understands life's emotional toll with the ability to process and translate it for others. Whether dwelling on romantic tension and trauma on the album closer "16" or reflecting on his troubled past on the serpentwithfeet-assisted "scapegoats," Keem shows regularly flexes his stylistic versatility, proving he's more than just a rapper that can make kids go dumb in a mosh pit.
The Melodic Blue features some of the best production that Keem has been treated to yet. Joined alongside a varied team of producers, including Cardo himself, Keem provides fans with experimental and innovative tracks that I'm already itching to hear live. The off-kilter "Gorgeous" is hilarious, with lines like "Tame Impala n****s in the cut smokin' pot / Prada bag shawty, used the bitch as a prop." Speaking of humor, the ironically over-enunciated flow that Keem and Kendrick adopt at the end "range brothers" is also indescribably infectious.
With countless beat switches, quotable lines, and high-energy performances, The Melodic Blue is more than just a standout moment for the rapidly rising rapper. It's evidence that Keem can propel himself wherever he desires.
Listen to The Melodic Blue below: