“ARIZONA BABY” by Kevin Abstract was my summer anthem and I played it every single day.
The album clocks in at 32:18 minutes and I would often play it at the end of my shift of my summer job. “ARIZONA BABY” was first released as two EPs that eventually melded into the release of a full-fledged album in late spring of 2019. I remember when I first heard the album. It was more my speed compared to Kevin Abstract’s first solo album “American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story.”
While “American Boyfriend” was a mighty fine album, the entire energy of “ARIZONA BABY” was a lot more inviting to my ears. The production and beats were more in sync with the lyrics which allows the emotions of each song to hit harder.
I loved the album when I first heard it and I raved about it to all of my friends when I could. It was simply one of the most open and emotionally raw hip-hop albums I have ever heard. Plus, he is a part of the large and successful boy band BROCKHAMPTON and everybody seems to love them.
Kevin raps about his newfound fame and how it is impacting him. He thought it would lead to happiness but it has led to many more problems than he anticipated. His relationships with his family are strained as they do not approve of his openness of his homosexuality and his refusal to do favors for them. He has lost a best friend, struggled with alcohol and drug abuse and does not know how to move forward from it all. We get to hear the inner monologue of a rapper in a way that I have never heard before.
There is no doubt in my mind that Kevin is in pain and wants to be rid of it. The lyrics of every song hit hard and really encapsulate who Kevin is.
The production on this album is so so good. Each and every song flows.
The beats are bopping and fast. The faster tempo of the beats would be playing as Kevin raps about his problems creates an interesting feeling. The feeling is best described as moody but not quite sad. There is enough bounce in even the moodiest of his songs that you are kind of energized when you finish one of his songs. I believe that this sold the album to my ears way more than a more traditional “sad” instrumental ever could.
It is easier to digest the music and way more fun to show to friends. Because of this, the lyrics have become easier to understand and relate to as we all have struggles that we are dealing with. We all find success in our lives but there are still lingering problems that we do not want to face. That does not preclude us from having fun though. We ought to take one day at a time and hope that things will get better in the long run. I absolutely love this album and I promise that you will too.
My rating: 9.75/10