Baby Keem Essential Songs

Baby Keem has rapidly emerged as one of hip-hop's most exciting new voices, bursting onto the scene with a lyrical skill well beyond his years. Despite still being early in his career, the Las Vegas-bred rapper, born Hykeem Jamaal Carter Jr., has already amassed an impressive catalog highlighted by adventurous rhyme schemes, genre-blurring production, and sharp wordplay that belies his age of 23. His critically acclaimed debut album The Melodic Blue has secured Keem's place in modern rap, and the following essential Baby Keem songs provide an immersive look at his artistry and a lyrical wizard poised for greatness.

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"Orange Soda"

Baby Keem's breakout smash "ORANGE SODA" arrived on July 16, 2019 as the lead single from his mixtape Die For My Bitch. The self-produced track, co-crafted with Keanu Beats, depicts Keem rhyming about his romantic interest, metaphorically dubbed his "orange soda." It explores the complexities of their tumultuous relationship, addressing her demands and meddling friends. Despite being a sleeper hit initially, "ORANGE SODA" became Keem's first Billboard Hot 100 entry in January 2020 at #98. Subsequently, its widespread popularity led to a music video dropping four months after the Baby Keem song's unveiling. Certified platinum within a year, the fan-favorite cut established Keem's budding stardom.


The candid song "HONEST" arrived as the second track off Baby Keem's 2019 mixtape Die for My Bitch. In his verses, Keem deals with authenticity amidst feelings of isolation and the façade of transactional relationships. Despite confessing infidelity, he questions whether his partner reflects his honesty. Keem's lyrics hint at his desire for genuine connections. Produced by Sounwave, Keem, and Bēkon, "HONEST" has undoubtedly solidified as one of the rapper's most-streamed offerings to date. Racking up over 300 million Spotify plays by August 2023, the July 19, 2019 release resonated deeply with fans drawn to its raw vulnerability.

Read More: Baby Keem Shares "Melodic Blue" Short Film Featuring Three New Songs

"Lost Souls"

On The Melodic Blue's laid-back track "lost souls," Baby Keem paints a poignant portrait of individuals seduced by celebrity's allure, disconnected from their authentic selves. His lyrics metaphorically depict these "lost souls" surrounding the narrator. They explicitly prompt Keem's desire for a genuine connection with someone removed from fame's trappings. Released September 10, 2021, the Baby Keem song samples Che Ecru's "Sex A Pill" and went on to receive a remix featuring Brent Faiyaz for the album's deluxe edition. Ultimately, "lost souls" achieved RIAA gold certification on June 7, 2022. 

"Family Ties" Ft. Kendrick Lamar

The highly-anticipated collaboration "Family Ties" marked a seminal moment for real-life cousins Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar. Released in August 2021, the anthem served as the fourth single from Keem's debut album. It was also Lamar's first offering under his pgLang imprint after a hiatus. With its nostalgic cover art paying homage to Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city, clever lyrics showcasing Lamar's newly-unveiled "Oklama" persona, and an award-winning music video, "Family Ties" celebrated their unbreakable brotherhood. The Baby Keem song's widespread acclaim, including Grammy and BET triumphs, cemented its lasting impact.

"Durag Activity" Ft. Travis Scott

Baby Keem revealed the lead single "durag activity" from his debut album The Melodic Blue on April 30, 2021. He recruited Travis Scott for his first featured collaboration. The hard-hitting track, produced by Brick!, finds the rappers exuding self-assured bravado. They trade bars about their lavish lifestyles, wealth, and romantic pursuits over a snapping, distorted beat. The song's title nods to the durag representing their cultural swagger.

Upon release, it sparked a playful Twitter exchange when Madonna evidently donned a bandana printed with the song's name. Keem was prompted to cheekily offer to send her an actual durag. Preceded by teasers in March, the song made waves with an accompanying music video. By merging raw charisma into slick lyricism, "durag activity" announced Keem's arrival as rap's latest prominent voice, strengthened further by Scott's star power.

"Trademark USA"

Kicking off The Melodic Blue, the opening track "trademark usa" (originally titled "llc the dead" in early album tracklists) immediately immerses listeners into Baby Keem's distinctive soundscape. With hype building after being teased during his "ORANGE SODA" video, the song's production basically flips a reversed gospel sample over sparse instrumentation, allowing Keem's introspective bars to shine. His candid lyrics delve into his meteoric rise, family sacrifices, and naysayers-turned-supporters. It's all wrapped in an enigmatic title that hints at Keem's artistic identity and American roots. Moreover, as an album opener, "trademark usa" highlights the depth of Baby Keem's songs. It establishes him as a bold new voice not afraid to reveal a vulnerable side amid his unconventional sonic capabilities.


The poignant closing track "16" on Baby Keem's debut album The Melodic Blue explores issues of self-worth and upbringing while poetically exploring the dynamics of a relationship. Teased months prior through merch and early tracklists, the song's titular number reflects its sequential placement. Keem's introspective lyrics read like an open dialogue, further empathizing with a lover's hidden struggles stemming from an impoverished background. He urges this unidentified partner to appreciate their inherent value above materialistic concerns. The refrain "Just appreciate yourself" emphasizes self-acceptance over external validation. "16" provides a nuanced look at how one's origins can influence identity and emotions. He concludes his acclaimed debut with a piece that highlights its rich themes.

The post Baby Keem Essential Songs appeared first on HotNewHipHop.


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