Kendrick Lamar Reference Track For Baby Keem Allegedly Surfaces Online

BYGabriel Bras Nevares69.1K Views
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PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) Dave Free, Naomi Campbell and Kendrick Lamar attend the Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 23, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
There's a lot of conversation around reference tracks these days, and this Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem exchange adds to that flare-up.

There's a lot of conversation around reference tracks these days, particularly due to some recent leaks of songs that people have apparently helped Drake in making. However, a reference track doesn't necessarily indicate a lyrical ghostwriter, so maybe The Boy's gotten some undue hate for his references from PARTYNEXTDOOR, Lil Yachty, and more. Regardless, there's a lot of debate over whether borrowing cadences or taking prompted and consensual inspiration from other artists is the same as using someone else's lyrics. Either way, the discussion gets even murkier when you try to hold folks to a double standard, as Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem allegedly proved recently through a leak that writing for others is pretty common.

Moreover, a new alleged reference track surfaced online, and it's Kendrick Lamar's take on Baby Keem's 2019 track "BULLIES" off of DIE FOR MY B***H. You can hear it by clicking the "Via" link down below, and there's no real confirmation of whether or not this is A.I., who wrote which parts, etc. But it sounds pretty legit as opposed to other allegedly debunked leaks, and you can make the judgement call for yourself, but it's pretty interesting to see the formation of Keem's mixtape. We also know that they've collaborated on a lot of tracks in the past, so this isn't really a surprising alleged leak.

Baby Keem Performs With Kendrick Lamar At Formula One Event

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 08: Baby Keem performs onstage during the Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team 2024 Livery Reveal on February 08, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Cash App)

Furthermore, there have been other leaks from Kendrick Lamar recently, which resurfaced right before he responded to Drake with "Euphoria." But these concerned more unreleased material and earlier versions of some of his own cuts, so it's not a one-to-one comparison here. Still, folks have different goalposts for how to perceive, interpret, and critique the use of writers. Is it only relevant when you claim to be the GOAT like Drizzy or is it reprehensible no matter your fame or the nature of your song?

After all, it's one thing to ghostwrite or give the flow for "BULLIES" and it would be another thing entirely than, say, a more lyrically dense and personal song like the "family ties" verse. While a lot of the conversation is around Drake right now, some fans need to realize this is more of a commonality than what the industry puts on. Kendrick Lamar may be the "ghostwriter" here, but no one is immune to some accusations, inspiration, and uncredited influence. Like many other elements of the rap world, it's just a case by case basis for the most part.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.