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An Unnecessarily Extra In-Depth Analysis of Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar’s “Family Ties”



Baby Keem. Kendrick Lamar

Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar might of dropped the single and visual of the year this past Friday, here’s a think piece about it!

To everyone else surprise and mine, Baby Keem got his cousin, the one you might be one of the greatest emcees of all time, Kendrick Lamar, out of an extended musical hiatus with possibly the most creative single of the year titled “Family Ties.” This is the cousins’ first collaboration under Kendrick’s pgLang imprint. Initially, the single was labeled “Jump 2,” the first part of the song was previewed in March 2020 in the video teaser that introduced pgLang. Baby Keem was the first artist to partner with Kendrick and Dave Free’s production company.

Baby Keem starts the first half of the track with aggressive up-tempo lyrics but also lyrical ingenuity that showcases his growth as an overall artist over the past few months. Personally, I was so happy to see Keem having the ability to rise to the occasion to match Kendrick’s energy. My favorite bars from him addressed the critique of him that he’s just “melodic” or “trap.”

“But how could you ask like I don’t be writin’ my raps? These critics got everyone tapped,” Baby Keem hilariously and passionately blurted out at the end of his verse. To his credit, Keem has a valid point. I mean, he is the cousin, yes I’ll keep saying that, of one of the greatest who ever touched hip hop, so the family gene had to rub off on him. Overall, I’m delighted with his verse.

Now comes K-Dot, King Kunte, Kung Fu, Kenny, and the one we all know, plus mostly love except by musically inept people Kendrick Lamar. To start of my analysis of his verse, I must say, “God D*mn” he had some things to get off his chest. Lamar tapped into his ‘C4’ underground mixtapes days with this verse. I had to listen to his verse five times to comprehend everything he said, which is why I love him. He makes thinking and using critical skills, so fun to do!

I am the omega, pgLang, Rollie gang, SIE
Don’t you address me unless it’s with four letters
I thought you’d known better
I been duckin’ the pandemic, I been, social gimmicks
I been duckin’ the overnight activists, yeah
I’m not a trending topic, I’m a—

Hold on, y’all n*ggas playin’ with me, man
I am the omega, pgLang, Rollie gang, SIE
Don’t you address me unless it’s with four letters
B*tch, I thought you’d known better

Genius citation of the first part of Kendrick verse

The four letters can mean many things, GOAT (greatest of all time), K-Dot, king, gold, etc…… The simple fact that he opens up shows that Kendrick wants it to be loud and clear that he is still among the elites in music even after a long hiatus. He proceeds this by addressing an unfair “critique” of him and J.Cole last year about them not saying as much during the BLM movement that occurred following the George Floyd incident.
Kendrick wants everybody to know that he is just not a “woke” rapper nor a tool to boost movements that aren’t entirely founded on genuine principles by greedy social media influencers and companies. Two, he is totally about the Black Power Movement, but he’s more about actions than false promises and misinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media in 2020. Three, this should be obvious, but he literally had a GRAMMY-winning album dedicated to Black Power and other social issues titled ‘To Pimp A Butterfly,’ and please check it out if you haven’t.

I been duckin’ the pandemic, I been duckin’ the social gimmicks

I been duckin’ the overnight activists, yeah

I’m not a trending topic, I’m a prophet

I answer to Metatron and Gabriel

Bitch, looking for a better me

I am a legacy, I come from the seventy

The Al Green offspring, guns and the melody

The big shot, wrist on cryotherapy

Soon as I press that button

N*gga better get right like the ambulance comin’

Us two on a light, Keem been through nothin’

Dave Free got at least one B in the oven

Genius citation of the second part of Kendrick verse

The second part entails him addressing his movement during the entire COVID pandemic. It’s widely known that Kendrick is notoriously antisocial. His mysterious aura and fantastic talent have led him to avoid the social norms of conforming to social media gimmicks to maintain relevancy, as most entertainment personalities succumbed to last year. The Megatron and Gabriel references were a clever way of Kendrick only affirming his faith in a higher power instead of man. Megatron and Gabriel are Angels with importance not only to God but also to Lamar’s talent.
Megatron is the “voice of God,” thus, Kendrick refers to his genius vocal ability as a God-given gift. Gabriel is the most important of Eden’s 5 Archangel who represents God’s strength and will, which leads to Kendrick using his name to refer to the power he has been a believer in higher faith in a world that challenges it. I also love the Al Green semblance since, like Kendrick, they grew up in a notoriously rough neighborhood but never succumbs to gang violence. They made it out and showed their generations it’s okay to be yourself.

I’m trippin’, I’m juugin’, my mental is amazing, brother

Pop off, only on occasions, brother

Rich nigga, momma know I made it, brother

Go figure, never caught cases, brother

Face it, brother, gracious brother

New flows comin’, be patient, brother

Show my a** and take y’all to class

I can multitask like Megan, brother

Genius citation of part three of Kendrick’s verse

First, I’m glad K-Dot’s mental health is proper because too many entertainers today have been struggling with issues that plague the current generation. The Megan reference with multitasking is easily one of my favorite punchlines the past five years, pure brilliance! With that in mind, you got to include that Kendrick Lamar can also be crowned to “King Of Mental Health!”

2021, I ain’t takin’ no prisoner
Last year, y’all fucked up all the listener
Who went platinum? I call that a visitor
Who the f*ck backin’ ’em? All been falsified

The facts mean this a vaccine, and the game need me to survive
The Elohim, the rebirth
Before you get to the Father, you gotta holla at me first, b*tch
Smokin’ on top fives
Motherf*ck that album, f*ck that single
Burn that hard drive (Burn that sh*t)
Ain’t nobody safe
When I come up killin’ everybody that’s outside (Who you with?)
Yeah, Kanye changed his life
But me, I’m still an old school Gemini (Lil’ b*tch)
Let me jump in this b*tch

The final part of Kendrick’s amazing verse via Genius

The conclusion to my favorite verse this year entails King Kunte showcasing dominance after a few years have gone by. Recently, Kendrick teased his final project with Top Dawg Entertainment, and these lyrics just embody his hunger. Along with this explementary single, Keem and Kendrick blessed us with a wonderfully creative video that stars the beautiful Normani. I would do an extra analysis of the visual as well, but just watch it below and enjoy the show!