Rap Song of the Week breaks down the rap and hip-hop tracks you need to hear each week. Check out the full playlist here. For our latest installment, Kendrick Lamar makes a roaring comeback on Baby Keem’s “Family Ties.”
It’s no surprise that Kendrick Lamar’s first guest appearance since announcing his final album on TDE is on Baby Keem’s new single. Not only are the two rappers cousins, but Keem is the flagship artist on Kendrick’s company, pgLang, which will logically be the Compton rapper’s focus after leaving his label of 17 years.
Besides that, 2021 is shaping up to be Keem’s mainstream breakout year. After teaming up with Travis Scott on “durag activity,” the 20-year-old rapper was featured on a track played at one of Kanye West’s early DONDA listening parties.
On “Family Ties,” Keem comes out of the gate hot by calling out all the fakers in the industry with lyrics like, “Choppa doin’ circles, it’s a bird, bird/ Take him to the projects, he’s a nerd/ I see n****s hittin’ corners in the motherfuckin’ ‘burbs, huh/ Done politickin’ with the competition, what’s the word?”
Following a beat switch, Kendrick puts out a warning to any rapper who’s been complacent in his absence. Issuing a reminder that he’s merely been on a break, K-Dot promises he has new flows on the way and proclaims the game needs him to survive. “Smoking on top fives,” he raps, before take a stray shot at Kanye. “Ain’t nobody safe when I come up killin’ everybody that’s outside/ Yeah, Kanye changed his life, but me, I’m still an old school Gemini/ Let me jump in this bitch.”
King Kendrick is back and he’s pulling no punches. Other rappers have no choice but to get out of the way.