On September 10th, 2021 Baby Keem dropped his debut studio album The Melodic Blue. It was a follow up to his acclaimed mixtape Die For My B*tch, which I personally loved. Not to mention Keem has been hot the last month following the release of Family Ties which featured his cousin Kendrick Lamar and his feature on Donda. So it's safe to say this album gained a lot of hype really quickly, and it did not disappoint.
Part of the reason fans where enamored with Die For My B*tch was because of his unique and diverse beats he produces himself, producing fourteen out of the sixteen tracks on The Melodic Blue. The record starts off with Trademark USA with an extremely hard beat, with a signature Baby Keem beat switch later on. His flow is smooth and high energy and only improves throughout the track. Pink Panties is another track where Keem has such good chemistry with his instrumental as the up-tempo and bouncy production mesh with Keems' vibrant and lowkey delivery so well to make a nighttime banger. Scapegoats is the most underproduced track here but that is done perfectly. With the beat not being overbearing Keem is able to float for a quick ninety seconds to deliver his most lyrical verse on the album, talking about his real life experiences and not just having fun as the zany persona he portrays in his music.
Now we get to Range Brothers featuring Kendrick Lamar, which went viral for Kendrick's repetition of "Top of the morning" at the end of the track, which I found to be a fun moment on the record. This track features great strings that progress throughout the duration of the song, making it more intense as it goes. Keem and Kendrick play off of each other tremendously not to mention Dot delivers a great lyrical verse. Issues is the first emotional track on the albums, more in the vein of APOLOGIZE and HONEST off of DFMB, and it does not disappoint. Keems low energy delivery yet a passionate hook creates a depressing vibe but the song is anthemic. Gorgeous features one of Keem's best hooks on the record, backed up by a great instrumental, making it another all-around fun moment.
South Africa is a drab track that gets fairly repetitive due to Keem constantly repeating the chorus, although it is not a bad track. Lost Souls has an upbeat instrumental where Keem relays an extremely catchy chorus and his singing was amazing on this album. Cocoa features a high energy trap beat and an amazing verse from guest Don Toliver. Don matches Keems' zany personality with entertaining bars like, "Take her out to eat, I took her out to Denny's". Family Ties also features Kendrick and the two of them come together for one of the best songs this year. Both drop amazing and catchy lines throughout the song and flow viciously over the ever-progressing beat to the eventual switch. The two once again play great off each other and make one of the most memorable moments this year.
Scars is another signature melancholy Baby Keem track with a heavy beat that conveys a lot of emotion. Keem then comes through with some heartfelt singing and tales about past struggles. Durag Activities with Travis Scott is a lowkey, ominous banger. Both artists give great performances that fit perfectly over the entrancing beat and a Keems catchy, repetitious hook. Booman is a fun track but serves as the weakest one on the album. The song is repetitive and Keem flow off-beat gets a tad obnoxious. First Order of Business features an energetic instrumental but Keem feels off on it. Vent is another high energy track where he is just rapping in your face with more outlandish bars throughout. 16 is a beautiful outro track. The beat is lowkey and jazzy with a beautiful hook from Keem that you just can't help but sing along to.
The Melodic Blue is a debut album that does not disappoint. Keem has a got mix of potential chart toppers with all the other tracks having good replay value this year. Not only did Keem drop one of the best trap albums this year, but is pushing the boundaries of it with this album. On every song he produces it is just so vibrant, bouncy and complex. The often beat and flow switches keep the record entertaining throughout. The guest appearances were amazing and so was Keem although he can get a bit obnoxious at points. Keem is a great persona in rap, though lacking in lyrical content, everything else about his music stands out in the best way possible.