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Baby Keem’s “Melodic Blue” Album Review

An avid lover of music with a flair for writing. A core hip-hop fan with a thing for boom-bap beats and bars.

"Melodic Blue" album cover

"Melodic Blue" album cover

Album Review

Exciting, refreshing, invigorating, and innovative are the words to describe Baby Keem’s debut album, Melodic Blue. Probably why it took me a long time to come up with a review because it was quite a lot to take in. This album aims to cement Baby Keem’s place in the rap scene and see him establish a name away from being simply Kendrick Lamar’s protégé which he successfully does although the influence the former has on his artistry cannot be denied.

Melodic Blue is a very enjoyable and surprisingly cohesive album from the Las Vegas rapper. Consisting of sixteen tracks and spanning fifty-three minutes, Melodic Blue perfectly encapsulates what Baby Keem is all about – excellent production choices complemented with humorous bars and catchphrases though generic at times. One of the highlights that makes it such an enjoyable project is the abundance of flows that permeates throughout the album. This attribute makes the album exciting and unpredictable on every listen and despite this, the album is surprisingly cohesive even as he explores different vocal ranges and deliveries. The use of the perfect amount of auto-tune on certain tracks also complements the album and makes it fun on every listen. The beat switch and use of autotune on “Vent” perfectly encapsulate Baby Keem’s artistic vision.

Another highlight of the album was the excellent production which permeates the entire album. The production choices were perfect and in my opinion, it is one of the best-produced albums of 2021 alongside Kanye’s Donda and Tyler The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost. The production choice for each track sets the tone for that track which enhances the album's quality. The track “Booman” which employs African drums and horns perfectly infuses the African feel and sets the tone for the message which the last verse passes across. Exquisite experimental production all through and it is one of the hallmarks of the project. Baby Keem’s artistry is reminiscent of Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s earlier works which are daring, innovative, and ground-breaking. Listening to the entirety of Melodic Blue gives off the feeling of listening to an early Kanye work just without heavier bars.

"Issues" Official Music Video

Worth a listen?

Baby Keem recruited the services of his lyrically inclined cousin Kendrick Lamar on “Range Brothers” and “Family Ties” and it is only fair to say that their chemistry was off the charts on both the final part of “Range Brothers” where both traded bars at each other starting with the phrase “Let me get some too” was quite delightful to listen to. Surprisingly enough, Baby Keem held his ground against his cousin for most of both tracks. Don Toliver also put in a decent shift on Cocoa although it was one of my least favorite tracks.

Melodic Blue is in my opinion an excellent debut album for the Las Vegas rapper and is no doubt one of my favourite hip hop albums of 2021. It does not convey a heavy lyrical performance as you would expect from his cousin, however, Kendrick’s artistic influence shines all through this project and it is a solid body of work. I would 100% recommend it to new hip-hop heads who are not big on heavy lyrical performance but are more focused on artistry. It is surprisingly cohesive and its melodious-based concept shines throughout the entirety of the album.

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Essential Tracks

  • “Range Brothers”
  • “Issues”
  • “Booman”

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Fawaz Akintunde

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