The Melodic Blue by Baby Keem: a journey


Photo by Baby Keem

Rising singer, songwriter and producer, Baby Keem, is just getting started.

By Anna Zepeda, Reporter



Hykeem Jamal Carter JR. professionally known as, Baby Keem, wrote his exceptional album, The Melodic Blue, in 2021, which really picked up his career after his hit “Orange Soda” peaked in 2019. While an “experimental pocket with trying to push [himself] to the limits,The Melodic Blue gathered the attention of the public shortly after the initial release of the album. 

The Melodic Blue is Keem’s freshman album following his hit EP DIE FOR MY BIT** which included his hit “Orange Soda”. In the album, Keem admits to experimenting as he is “trying to do something different every album.” The Melodic Blue, is also entirely Keem’s project, as he produced it as well. The album consists of amazing features from major A-list rap artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott.

Baby Keem

The album is a solid 5/5. Baby Keem is surely a major rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer on the rise, so keep a close eye. The rising star already has a Grammy under his belt while still experimenting with his musical production, alongside his very worth-a-mention features. 

The Melodic Blue carries a track that received Keem’s very first Grammy award. The track, “Family Ties” was released in August 2021 and received its title of Best Rap Performance in April of 2022, securing the award in just under a year with only eight months of it being out on all streaming platforms. The track was produced and sung by Keem himself alongside cousin, Lamar, who earned himself a feature on the track as well. “Family Ties” won its award against fellow nominees: Cardi B’s “Up J. Cole’s “My Life”. Drakes “Way Too Sexy” and Megan Thee Stallions “Thot Sh*t”.

Throughout the album, Keem is very loose and open minded with the production of each track. The Melodic Blue was initially going to be a stage album–without songs that were rather personal. But, in the end, the people’s favorites are songs like “16” and “Issues”, “blue” songs to Keem which are in fact, extremely personal.

During the production process, Keem felt it was only right to add a few tracks that provide the audience with a quote on quote “blue feeling” or a “sad, uplifting sad (feeling)… but [Keem] also wanted to play in world of stage and that’s where tracks like “Trademark (USA)” come into line.”

Baby Keem accepts his Grammy Award at the 2022 ceremony. (Photo by

Once he established he wanted to mix the worlds of stage and blue, Keem “wanted to attack very…piano chords, a really blue sound.” The heavy piano pieces are where songs such as “Issues”, “16” and “Scapegoats” come into play where Keem shares his most vulnerable memories growing up as a child, living with his aunt. Playing in a world of vulnerability or sadness, and a world of stage, Keem acknowledges that it was “fun building these two worlds, as they are two very different ones.

The Melodic Blue (Extended) contains 19 tracks and only 4 of them have features. The features include hit rappers Don Toliver, Scott, Lamar and rising star Brent Faiyaz. The remaining 16 tracks were Keem’s work. When collaborating with Faiyaz, Keem explained he met him “randomly and played him “16,” which Faiyaz claimed went “hard”, later leading up to their meet-up. They never openly worked together on a track, though. Keem then took the initiative and, once again, reached out to Faiyaz, letting him know that he needed him on the album – not caring how: he just knew he needed him. From there, with the album’s deadline in 8 days, Faiyaz pulled through with his feature on “Lost Souls” in just 2 days. The song has since blown up, due to the platform known as TikTok

When working on “Cocoa”, Toliver was “really the first solid person [Keem] connected with.” Toliver “just pulled up and did the record,” leaving Keem grateful.

Now, as for the one and only Lamar, it is not the younger cousin reaching for the big cousin’s help. No, it is more of Keem “leaving it up to him”, being Lamar, to decide whether or not he gets on a track with the artist. 

This 16-song album is undoubtedly one of the best released albums of 2021. Baby Keem is the face of a new generation of hip hop; and the young prodigy of the great prophet, Kendrick Lamar,” said West Aurora High School senior Alex Labastida. 

If willing to “die for your bit**”, like Keem, then go on and give the artist a listen.