“Success, got a taste of it, never was the same” Baby Keem raps in his 2020 XXL Freshman freestyle. It’s a brooding minute and a half of bars, with the Californian rapper reflecting on the adversity in his journey to becoming one of today’s biggest hip hop prospects. Following this, Baby Keem was noticeably absent from the prolific cyphers, a point of discussion throughout any hip-hop SubReddit you could browse. This is what makes Baby Keem exciting, you never know what’s he’s going to do next.
The best way to describe Baby Keem would be as an enigma, or an unabashed creative oddball. Born in Carson, California but raised in Las Vegas, where he started uploading music to the web under his real name Hykeem Carter, initially experimenting with hip hop over Youtube beats. In October 2018, the transformation into Baby Keem began with his project The Sound Of Bad Habit, executive produced by established beatsmith Cardo. It was an in-your-face collection of abrasive bangers which didn’t conform to the trends of contemporary sounds but crushed them instead. That same year, Keem also landed writing and production credits on Jay Rock’s Redemption and mentor Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther: The Album, lending his unique musical perspective to blockbuster rap superstars.
In 2019 we saw Baby Keem’s notoriety continue to grow in a major way, particularly with his project Die For My Bitch; a mix of styles that encapsulate his knack for creating ear-catching melodies. It featured production from the likes of Sounwave, DJ Dahi, Keanu Beats, and more, providing the backdrop for Baby Keem’s maturing sound to shine. The standout single for the project ‘ORANGE SODA’ proved to generate a massive buzz, since garnering over 100 million streams and being certified Platinum by the RIAA. DFMB was even touted by the boy himself Drake, touting it as one of his favourite albums of the year. This was the year that Keem had made it clear he was becoming something special.
Since the release of Die For My Bitch, Keem releases have been rare and sporadic, but not in the way where you presume passion has left, but because something blockbuster is being cooked up. Not long after making the XXL Freshmen List, he dropped 2 looses in the form of ‘Hoolgan’ and “sons & critics freestyle’. The first is an eerie, piano-heavy trap ballad with an obscure music video further solidifying Keem’s eccentric creativity, and the second was a quick blast of bars and bass that fans had been eager for.
Keem started 2021 by starring in Calvin Klein’s series of short videos with pgLang, the creative company launched by Kendrick Lamar. Following up with some new music, Keem dropped ‘no sense’ at the start of this month and we’re hoping that it’s the first taste of album-mode. The track is a melodic and catchy pop-rap anthem that breaks down the aftermath of a relationship.
An eerie and cryptic video for the track dropped today directed by Savannah Setten. It’s pretty Lynchian for a rap video and features plenty of symbolism for you to decipher.
There’s been no official announcement surrounding a new project from Keem just yet, but when it comes to his unique persona; you never know what he’s going to do next, but we’re sure Keem will bring the energy.
Follow Baby Keem here for more and watch the video for ‘No Sense’ below.