Arizona Baby

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Arizona Baby
Uncentered closeup photograph of Kevin Abstract grinning with heavily affected colours and contrast
Cover used for final album, as well as its first part
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 25, 2019 (2019-04-25)
Recorded2018–2019
StudioElectric Lady, New York City
Genre
Length32:24
Label
Producer
Kevin Abstract chronology
American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story
(2016)
Arizona Baby
(2019)
Alternative cover
Blurred, high-contrast black-and-white photograph of Kevin Abstract grinning
Cover used for Ghettobaby, the album's second part

Arizona Baby (stylized in all caps) is the third studio album by American rapper Kevin Abstract, released on April 25, 2019 by Question Everything, Inc. through RCA Records. The album was released cumulatively, with the eponymous first part (stylized as ARIZONA baby) released on April 11, followed by a second part titled Ghettobaby on April 18. It was primarily produced by Jack Antonoff and Abstract's fellow Brockhampton member Romil Hemnani, with several other members of Brockhampton providing additional production, vocals, and instrumentation.

Release and promotion[edit]

Kevin Abstract teased the project in March 2019, sharing its artwork without explanation.[1][2] On April 8, a music video for "Big Wheels" was released, under the video title "The 1-9-9-9 is Coming",[1] alongside an image teasing the dates April 11, April 18 and April 25. On April 11, following a teaser video for "Georgia" the three-song project was released, with Ghettobaby announced to be forthcoming.[3][4][5][6] On April 16 Abstract clarified that Arizona Baby would be his second full-length album, being released gradually.[7][8] Ghettobaby was released on April 18, including the previously released music alongside three new tracks, and was promoted by a music video for "Baby Boy".[9] The complete album was released on April 25, following a music video for "Peach".[10]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Abstract has cited Lana Del Rey's "Venice Bitch" (also co-produced by Antonoff) as inspiring the album, as well as "Westcoast Collective" by American rapper Dominic Fike, who appeared on the final album.[11][12]

The first part of Arizona Baby was described as "stand[ing] on the cutting edge of modern hip-hop",[13] taking an experimental approach to pop songwriting.[14] The album juxtaposes gentle vocoders and acoustic guitars against "galloping" production and rapping. "Big Wheels" features "sparkling synths and skittering beats", and has been compared to Abstract's hip hop work with Brockhampton, while "Joy Ride" is built around trumpets and has been noted to demonstrate producer Jack Antonoff's influence. "Georgia" has been described as tender and nostalgic.[14][13]

Ghettobaby, the album's second part has been described as increasingly personal, discussing Abstract's childhood, former friendships and insecurity, and featuring mostly sung R&B-hip hop fusions.[15] "Corpus Christi" contains a reference to former Brockhampton member Ameer Vann, who was fired from the group following domestic abuse allegations.[16] "Baby Boy" is a psychedelic rock song, with plucked guitar and distant synthesizers.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

Part one[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic76/100[19]
Review scores
SourceRating
Highsnobiety4.5/5 stars
HipHopDX4.0/5
The Line of Best Fit8.5/10[13]
NME4/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork6.9/10[18]
Sputnik3.9/5

Hannah Mylrea of NME described the project as "short-but-sweet", praising its polished and focused nature compared to Abstract's previous work with Brockhampton, and describing it as "a neat reminder of [his] talent".[14] For The Line of Best Fit, Sophie Walker wrote that the album "demonstrates [Abstract's] chameleon-like talent for creating everything from the most infectious beats to the gentlest verses".[13]

Track listing[edit]

The album's parts were released cumulatively, meaning Ghettobaby also includes part one, and the final release includes all three parts, without a specified distinction between each part.

Part one
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Big Wheels"
1:40
2."Joyride"
  • Evan Smith
  • Simpson
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
3:35
3."Georgia"
  • Simpson
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
3:39
Part two (Ghettobaby)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
4."Corpus Christi"
  • Simpson
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
2:55
5."Baby Boy"
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
3:32
6."Mississippi"
  • Simpson
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
3:39
Part three
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
7."Use Me"
  • Simpson
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
  • A. Jeffrey LaValley
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
2:12
8."Peach"
2:57
9."American Problem"
  • Simpson
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
  • Abhirath Raju
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
3:11
10."Crumble"
  • Simpson
  • Hemnani
  • Beatty
  • Fike
  • Antonoff
  • Boring
  • Antonoff
  • Hemnani
3:08
11."Boyer"
  • Simpson
  • Hemnani
  • Kevin Abstract
  • Hemnani
1:57
Total length:32:21

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[20]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 87
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[22] 197
Lithuanian Albums (AGATA)[23] 56
US Billboard 200[24] 53

Release history[edit]

Release Date Label Format
Part one April 11, 2019 Question Everything, Inc, RCA Digital download, streaming
Parts one and two (Ghettobaby) April 18, 2019
Full album April 25, 2019

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gray, Julia (April 8, 2019). "Kevin Abstract – "Big Wheels" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Kevin Abstract [@kevinabstract] (March 19, 2019). "..." (Tweet). Retrieved April 14, 2019 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Minsker, Evan (April 11, 2019). "BROCKHAMPTON's Kevin Abstract Shares New Project ARIZONA baby: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Ivey, Justin (April 11, 2019). "Kevin Abstract Drops "ARIZONA baby" EP". HipHopDX. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Breihan, Tom (April 11, 2019). "Stream Kevin Abstract's ARIZONA baby EP". Stereogum. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Newstead, Al (April 11, 2019). "No more teasing! Kevin Abstract just dropped three new solo songs". Triple J. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  7. ^ Kevin Abstract [@kevinabstract] (April 16, 2019). "ARIZONA baby is an album btw I'm just slowly releasing it over time" (Tweet). Retrieved April 16, 2019 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Kevin Abstract [@kevinabstract] (April 20, 2019). "The second studio album by Kevin Abstract" (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Minsker, Evan (April 18, 2019). "BROCKHAMPTON's Kevin Abstract Drops New Ghettobaby EP: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Strauss, Matthew (April 25, 2019). "Listen to Kevin Abstract's New Album ARIZONA BABY". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  11. ^ Kevin Abstract [@kevinabstract] (April 20, 2019). "thankulana dey rey for making venice bitch and inspiring my album we used live instruments for almost every song fucking nuts jack is a wizard and thank u jaden walker for showing me Venice. Bitch and thank u Romil Hemnani for laying down the early sonic landscape for these songs" (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Kevin Abstract [@kevinabstract] (April 20, 2019). "If I didn't hear this when we were on tour I probably never woulda wanted to make ARIZONA baby I love this song so much" (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ a b c d Walker, Sophie (April 13, 2019). "Kevin Abstract's ARIZONA Baby stands on the cutting edge of modern hip-hop". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d Mylrea, Hannah (April 12, 2019). "Kevin Abstract – 'ARIZONA baby' EP review". NME. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  15. ^ Daw, Stephen (April 18, 2019). "Kevin Abstract Deals With Lost Love, Former Friendships On 'Ghettobaby' EP: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Young, Alex (April 18, 2019). "Kevin Abstract drops Ghettobaby EP: Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  17. ^ Breihan, Tom (April 17, 2019). "Kevin Abstract – "Baby Boy" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  18. ^ Myer, Owen (May 2, 2019). "Kevin Abstract: Arizona Baby Theory". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "ARIZONA BABY by Kevin Abstract Reviews and Tracks". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "ARIZONA BABY / Kevin Abstract". Tidal. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  21. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #523". auspOp. May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kevin Abstract – Arizona Baby" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  23. ^ "Savaitės klausomiausi (TOP 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. May 3, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  24. ^ "Kevin Abstract Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2019.