Kevin Abstract Pours Emotion Into “ARIZONA baby”

Kevin Abstract's second studio album "ARIZONA baby" didn't disappoint his fans, read about it here.

Luke O'Connell, Sports Editor

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Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

     On April 25, Kevin Abstract released his second solo project ARIZONA baby. The album (yes, album) was released over a three week span. Albeit short, Abstract has expressed his dislike for EPs on Twitter, and has made it clear that ARIZONA baby is an album. It was released with merchandise and was followed by a livestream that I’ll get into later. In this album, Abstract discusses fame, his sexuality, and struggles he’s had over the past few years.

     The album starts off with Big Wheels, which leans more into the rap genre than the majority of the album. With a driving, pulsating beat, the song starts the album off strong. Lyrically, Big Wheels starts off the continuing themes we’ll see throughout the album, talking about his quick rise to fame and problems like homophobia that he has encountered along the way. He feels as if he “got rich too fast” and describes how even though he made his way out of poverty, the people around him didn’t, which causes him to feel guilty. In the last third of the song, we hear a saxophone that transfers over into the next song well.

     Joyride, the second song of the album, starts off with trumpets that almost sound like they’re sampled off of a Fall Out Boy Album. Abstract goes on to talk about how living in LA has affected his mental health, and that he sometimes misses his small town childhood. The second verse of Joyride is one of my favorite moments off the album. Abstract uses a very unique rhythm that drives the song forward to talk about his motivations for making it big. Other than it’s sort of corny intro, I really like this song.

     Next up is Georgia, one of the most hyped songs off the album. Honestly, this song comes off as sort of forgettable, and doesn’t hold much replay value. The hook is repetitive, and other than allusions to “the 1-9-9-9” and a decent second verse, the song is one of my least favorite off the album.

     The fourth song off the album, Corpus Christi, is one of the most sentimental off of ARIZONA baby. He talks about his childhood acquaintances who criticized him as he became famous, along with Ameer Vann, a member of Brockhampton who was kicked out after sexual abuse allegations. In the second verse Abstract says: “I wonder what Ameer think about me,  Or what he think about me, See when I think about me, I barely think about me, I think about the people that surround me, and how I let ‘em down.” In these lyrics, Kevin sort of summarizes how he’s been feeling over the past year.

     Every single member of Brockhampton had to cope with losing one of their best friends, Ameer, who they thought was a good person. Along with that, Brockhampton and Kevin Abstract specifically have been gaining plenty of popularity over the past year, and I think he feels guilty for making it out of his hometown and leaving his people behind. He thinks that because he is thriving, he has wronged them or let them down in some way. I think that Kevin put a lot of emotion into this track and it shows.

     Next up is Baby Boy, which samples an unreleased Brockhampton track, Let’s Get Married. Let’s Get Married was first teased when Brockhampton announced their signing with RCA, and ever since then fans were anxious to see it released. The hook is sung by Ryan Beatty, and baby Boy was released along with a music video featuring Jabari Manwa. I really like this track, but mainly just for the hook.

     Use Me is one of my favorites off of the album. Abstract talks about drugs and life in Corpus Christi in this song, and raps over a sampled religious hymn and a synth beat. The backbeat along with the lyrics both sound really good.

    Peach, which features Dominic FIke, Bearface, and Joba, was released with a music video the night the last five songs dropped. I’ve heard lots of different opinions on this song, but personally I really like it. It comes off as a really good summer song, and all four vocalists sound great. Though it doesn’t have much emotional value, the song sounds great.

     The next song, American Problem, has two very clearly different parts, with very different sounds. The first part is much more light hearted, talking about love and substance, where as the second part takes a darker turn. When Abstract says “I’m in the back of a van, With a mask on, Thinkin bout taking my life, But the plans wrong”, he describes how he felt before diving into music. He didn’t see a point to life, but once he really got into music, all of that changed. In many ways, music saved him.

     Kevin really hoped to inspire people with this album, and he has expressed that he wanted people to be able to relate to it as well. On Twitter he’s talked about not really caring about the sales for this album, and that shows. He’s really gone and done his own thing with this album, and it definitely achieves the goal of getting young people to relate to it. This is one my favorite albums this year, and it carries a lot of emotional weight for Abstract. It’s an 8/10 for me, because it could have been longer and could have had more memorable tracks, but I still really enjoyed it.