SEARCH FOR: BABY KEEM

My Favorite Projects of 2021

2021 has very much been an up and down year for most, but it’s undeniably been a phenomenal year for music. In fact, I enjoyed listening to so many releases that I’d forgotten some even released this year. Not only has there been plenty of stylistic/genre variety, but also artists of all types (small, emerging, mainstream) actively releasing their art. To showcase my appreciation, I decided to put together a list of my favorite projects; (in no particular order) all of which remain in my rotation heading into the new year. I hope you discover an album, EP or mixtape that you might have missed! Last but not least, this list is also a token of gratitude to each and every person that has read a Lyrical Lemonade piece of mine. I wish you a happy and fulfilling New Year. – – – – – Issa Gold: Tempus (album) Genres: Introspective hip-hop, Conscious rap Favorite track: Cold Summer   Amaria – Bittersweet (EP) Genres: R&B Favorite track: Lose Control   Richie Quake – Voyager (EP) Genres: R&B, Indie Favorite Track: Sensitive   Jean Deaux – Most Wanted (EP) Genres: Hip-Hop, Modern R&B, Electro-Trap Favorite track: Stay Down Marlon Craft – How We Intended (album) Genres: Hip-Hop, Jazz …

Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2021

Every year, artists hailing from Chicago prove exactly why this is a city that belongs in the upper echelon of music, and this fact grows more abundantly obvious with every release that is put out. Whether a musician is world renown or locally recognized, there is never a shortage of creativity, effort, or innovation, and whether the rest of the country notices this or not, local fans are well aware of the goldmine that we are sitting on here in the Midwest.  Our goal here at Lyrical Lemonade has always been to shine a light on the remarkable sounds coming out of the city every single year, and even when we go in with certain expectations or presumptions, our minds are absolutely blown once we realize just how much dexterous and unique music was brought to life in the span of 12 short months. One thing that is inimitable within the local scene here is simply the sense of community because whether these talents are teaming up with one another or on entirely different levels of fame, everyone seems to show love to each other, ensuring their awareness of the eye-opening and head-turning styles that are being generated across the …

brain freeze – [SEBii]

This year, I switched from Apple Music to Spotify after a long and stressful deliberation because I knew that most industry professionals used the platform, but also because I was honestly jealous of seeing everyone’s Spotify Wrapped. Once I finally got to join in on the fun, my top 5 most listened to artists definitely didn’t come as a shock for the most part. It was overtaken by hyperpop artists including ericdoa and glaive, as well as Baby Keem and POORSTACY getting thrown in the mix. SEBii is the artist who rounded out the list, though, and I was super proud that he was included considering he opened up my mind to an entirely new and creative style of music, and I couldn’t be more excited about that than I was. I constantly found myself revisiting his music, whether it was singles or entire projects, and I couldn’t get enough of this inventive sonic pioneer, and my admiration only grows on a daily basis. I love his snippets and every time he finally drops songs in their entirety makes me head straight to Spotify to tune in, so I have no clue how I missed “brain freeze” last week, but …

Don Toliver Offers a Closer Look Into His Life on ‘Life of a DON’

It’s been about three years since Don Toliver emerged onto the scene, and in so little time, he has worked himself to a position that many new artists still struggle to reach. In fact, it would be very difficult to imagine the game without him here blessing all our musical needs. His artistry has been unmatched, his flows are unique, and he is able to craft melodies like no other. After his debut album Heaven or Hell which was released in early 2020, his trajectory has skyrocketed and he easily marked himself as a high-profile artist that everyone had their eyes on. Making his way onto huge anthems such as Internet Money’s “Lemonade”, and “His & Hers”, as well as landing placements with major artists like Nas, Eminem, and Big Sean, Don is on his way to the top, and there ain’t a thing standing in his way of getting there. Last weekend, Don Toliver released his sophomore album titled Life of a Don, and this is the body of work that many fans were anticipating for so long. Safe to say, Don Toliver delivered on all fronts, and this album will play a significant role in his career thus …

first order of business – [Baby Keem]

I know I’ve pretty much posted every music video and accompanying release of Baby Keem’s since he released the melodic blue last week, but the simple truth is the fact that I’m not even close to tired of this album, and I don’t think fans are either. It’s my personal favorite album of the year so far, and while I don’t think that’s a controversial opinion, at this point, his music videos are only bringing this project to new heights due to their creativity and abstract nature, so until I’m forced to stop writing about his releases, I’m going to keep covering them for as long as I can. While I have trouble pinpointing exactly what my favorite song on the album is, I was blown away by his song “first order of business” because it’s finally a song in hip-hop that doesn’t flex about his own personal riches and wealth, but it speaks on how he wants to use his fortune to take care of his family and the ones that mean the most to him, and that’s the endearing part of music that doesn’t get enough attention whatsoever. Luckily, we actually received a Dave Free-directed music video that …

Right Track – [Syd] ft. [Smino]

With so much unbelievable music dropping this past weekend, it can be hard to keep track of what’s worth listening to and what can go by the wayside. Baby Keem’s album is what I have personally been bumping pretty much nonstop for the majority of the weekend since it dropped, and while I still can’t get enough of it, I couldn’t let certain songs go unnoticed because they deserve so much praise. One of these records is “Right Track” by Syd featuring Smino, and it’s a record you’re not going to want to forget about moving forward, and that’s a fact. I’ve been a huge fan of Syd’s ever since the Odd Future days, and after taking a different career path since these wild days about a decade ago, Syd is truly coming into her own, but you don’t need to hear that from me to get where I’m coming from. On this new record, the instrumental contains some fresh, retro-sounding instruments as well as some tempo-setting percussion and quick, succinct drums that create an unbelievable foundation for her to do her thing. As she begins to sing right off the bat, her words are spoken in a very calm …

issues – [Baby Keem]

I don’t live by many rules when it comes to writing, but one of my few guidelines is that whenever Baby Keem drops something new, I write about it as soon as I can unless someone else already has. So, when I found out that he was releasing his long-awaited debut album the melodic blue late last night, I had trouble sleeping all week because of exactly how excited I was. It was already clear to me and so many others that Baby Keem was a star and considering he didn’t even have an actual album out yet, I knew this project was going to level him up exponentially, and he didn’t disappoint. I didn’t feel right writing about the album without listening through it at least a few times and truly diving into all of its intricacies, but that’s why I had no choice but to write about the incredible new Jake Schreier-directed music video for his song “issues” off of the project. This was undeniably one of my favorite records on the album after my first listen and considering Keem doesn’t even come close to disappointing with his music videos, I couldn’t wait to check it out. As …

family ties – [Baby Keem] x [Kendrick Lamar]

Following the confirmation of Kendrick Lamar’s imminent TDE departure, a glimpse into the future for pgLang has been released via Baby Keem’s “family ties.” Accompanied by a Dave Free visual, Keem and Lamar solidify their chemistry as cousins by boasting their absurd arsenal of breathless rap flows. With multiple beat switch-ups for each artist, neither allow the production to faze them yet alone affect their relentless approaches. If anything, the intensity is amplified with each change, and by the time Kendrick’s verse kicks in the song almost sounds like a friendly competition between relatives. Neither cousin outpaces the other; Keem phenomenally sets the tone while Lamar effortlessly slides as if to remind the millions listening that he’s still at the pinnacle of his game. Cinematically the music video is undeniably one of, if not the best of the year. Every little detail, particularly from specific motion-picture shots quite literally gives the track a short-film feeling with music for dialogue. Moreover, the colors are not only aesthetically eye-capturing but also intentional; associated imagery through light and dark lenses are neutralized by the literal color palette, which Keem walks on around the 1:50 mark. With plenty of lyrics to quote from, there’s …

durag activity – [Baby Keem] & [Travis Scott]

Although Baby Keem seems like he can be as elusive as his cousin Kendrick Lamar, there’s never a single song that he drops that isn’t worth the wait. Whether it’s full of semi-comical lines that catch you by surprise or other bars that are as mysterious and abstract as he is, Keem never disappoints, in my opinion at least. Although his last project Die for My Bitch released way back in 2019, it still seems like a classic to me, and it’s a project that I revisit time and time again every week without growing even slightly tired of it. Just last night, Keem decided to please fans once again for the first time since his March single “no sense” with the release of not only a new song called “durag activity” featuring Travis Scott produced by BRICK!, but an incredible new music video directed by Eliel Ford as well. Focusing mainly on the music video, it opens with a coastal view as a gentleman tries to outrun a group of individuals decked out in all-black suits who end up catching him and proceed to beat him up. Although Keem isn’t one of the people partaking in the pounding, he …

no sense – [Baby Keem]

Just a few weeks ago, Baby Keem blessed the music world once again with the release of his single “no sense”. While Keem might be slightly elusive and mysterious with every move he makes in the industry, it’s clear that he has an insanely connected network whether that’s because he’s cousins with Kendrick Lamar or he just has a way of finding the right people for the right job. Nonetheless, he has continued to progress into one of my favorite artists in the new generation of music, and he’s just getting started. Although I wrote about the song itself when it first released, I can’t let any Keem release go by the wayside, so when I saw that he teamed up with director Savannah Setten and his pgLang collective for a new music video, I couldn’t resist checking it out. I also couldn’t resist because his visuals have been as artistic and thought-provoking as anyone I can think of even back when he was on the come-up, so they’re completely mandatory watches if I have anything to say about it. This one opens up in a pretty monochromatic almost dystopian-looking city as the camera slowly pans in on a window …