Baby Keem Shows Promise in Debut Album 'The Melodic Blue' [Album Review]

Ian Hansen

After collaborations with household names of Travis Scott, Kanye West, and his cousin Kendrick Lamar, Baby Keem was poised to drop something memorable with The Melodic Blue.

The album was off to a booming start with ominous singles such as “Durag Activity” with Travis Scott providing one of his most impressive features in recent memory and "Family Ties" with Kendrick Lamar teasing his PGlang label. "Family Ties," which is the most electrifying song on the album, is led with colossal horns, head-bobbing beat switches, and a Keem verse that doesn’t end, but in the best way possible. Kendrick comes in after another beat switch and proves he hasn’t lost an ounce of what made him big in the first place.

The singles set the tone for an album trying to push the envelope of trap music and is very clearly meant for mosh pits. The intro, “trademark USA” showcases another example of this with hard-hitting drums and a wild beat switch that Baby Keem raps effortlessly over, as he basically flaunts his success.

The album continues over the forgettable “pink panties” but goes into the more introspective “scapegoats,” where he references his difficult past, while still discussing his newfound wealth. “Range Brothers” brings another collaboration with Kendrick Lamar with multiple beat switches and the popular lines by Lamar, “Top of the mornin.”

Other impressive tracks from the record include the infectious chorus of “gorgeous,” or the vibrant “cocoa” that includes another great verse from Don Toliver. “Scars” showcases, once again, the inspiration that Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak has, as Baby Keem samples “Love Lockdown” in “Scars.” “16” takes us in a completely different direction as the perfect outro, with the pop-inspired drums and surprisingly beautiful Keem vocals.

While “The Melodic Blue” has some duds, it is more good than bad. Keem showed he is versatile as not only an artist, but as a producer too. He doesn’t take the traditional arrangement of a trap song. He uses unique drum sounds, great manipulation of different synths, and beat switches that are a rarity in trap albums nowadays. Keem proved he is ready to be one of the big names in the industry with his debut album.

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