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Generational talents in hip-hop are hard to come by. However, Kendrick Lamar is just that, a generational talent. The debate for who’s the greatest of all time can go on forever, so let’s not even go there.
It is safe to say that Kendrick’s music was missed in the rap game and, if not missed, then anticipated. The hip-hop duel of the whole summer has been Kanye West vs. Drake, and Kendrick has just been an afterthought to the mainstream audience.
On August 27, Baby Keem (Kendrick’s cousin) and K.Dot teamed up for the single “Family Ties” with an accompanying music video. After this three-year hiatus, Kendrick Lamar is back, even if it's just for a minute and fifty seconds.
“Family Ties” is co-produced by Cardo, Keem himself, Outtatown, Roselilah, Deats, Jasper Harris, and Frankie Bash. Baby Keem is at his best when he brings his unique energy, and he did just that. His verse was previously featured in the introduction video of pgLang, which is the production company owned by Kendrick and his manager Dave Free, that Keem is a partner in. Baby Keem’s verse is very well-rounded when it comes to the different subjects he talks on. He flaunts at times, and he also talks about struggles in his past. The diversity goes hand & hand with the instrumental and its switch-ups.
Kendrick Lamar wastes no time in setting the tone with his verse as he exclaims he’s “smoking on your top five tonight.” He also compares himself to the COVID vaccine in terms that the game needs him to survive. Like most of his verses, Kendrick changes his cadences and overall voice pitch as he does it here again. It’s a small sample, but people have every right to be excited and highly anticipate his upcoming album, which will be his last with Top Dawg Entertainment.
The music video is directed and executive produced by Dave Free. It also stars Normani. Like most Baby Keem visuals, this one is again very cinematic, with some unusual scenes that many people probably won’t understand. Baby Keem announced on Twitter that “Family Ties” will be the final single before releasing his forthcoming album, the melodic blue.