Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Music Scoop


Album Review:
Kevin Abstract’s “Arizona Baby”

At the end of April, Kevin Abstract – founding member of the hip hop collective Brockhampton – released his third solo studio album “Arizona Baby.” The album runs a span of 11 tracks and it’s an overall pleasing album. Born Clifford Ian Simpson, the American rapper/singer/songwriter formed Brockhampton in 2015, but he started his solo act as Kevin Abstract when he was just seventeen. In 2014, he released his unofficial debut project “MTV1987.” Since, Abstract has been growing his personal discography. The project that he’s most known for is probably “Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story,” which he released in 2016. In comparison to his previous albums, “Arizona Baby” has a looser feel, as the album is easy to listen to and it incorporates a tasteful use of autotune and chill beats.


The album starts off with the short n’ sweet track “Big Wheels.” This track is about Abstract’s realization that he’s gained fame too quickly while his life back home has remained fairly the same. Aside from Abstract’s pointy verse, the track has a very pleasant saxophone outro which bleeds into the next song, “Joyride.”

“Joyride” is an upbeat track that gives us a little more insight on Abstract’s life. He presents us with certain missed opportunities and anxieties that he feels in his life, whether that’s through his relationships or his education.

Abstract says, “Is there any way I can get college back? / ‘Cause I know I missed out on what I lack.”

Abstract dabbles into this idea of not finishing college in the previous track “Big Wheels,” too. Moreover, “Joyride” has a catchy chorus and according to the artist himself, it’s the “perfect summertime song.”

The mood slightly shifts with the next track “Georgia.” This song continues to take listeners on a journey through Abstract’s life and state of being. This is one of my favorite tracks off the album because it has a kind of beautiful and melancholic air to it.

The next two jams “Corpus Christi” and “Baby Boy” are both pretty good tracks. Named after the town he was born, “Corpus Christi” takes us through some of Abstract’s childhood memories and the lingering feeling of bittersweetness he has attached to them. In this track, Abstract also addresses how he feels like he’s let people down.

He sings, “I think about the people that surround me, and how I let ’em down / I’m doin’ that right now by even f*****’ talkin’ ’bout this.”

In “Baby Boy,” Abstract talks about his struggle to find himself and feeling lost in his journey. My favorite part of this song is when Ryan Beatty sweetly sings the chorus: “At this point you’re pretty much out of my mind / But when I close my eyes I think about you every time.” Something about the alternation of Beatty’s and Abstract’s vocals makes this track really nice to listen to.

In my opinion, the first half of “Arizona Baby” is where the project really shines. In their own ways, I think tracks one through five are the highlight tracks off the album. A couple of good tracks in the second half of the album are “Mississippi” and “Boyer.” Aside from these songs, it feels like some of the other songs talk about similar themes that Abstract already mentioned earlier in the album and because of this, the songs come across filler tracks.

All in all, Kevin Abstract’s “Arizona Baby” is a pretty good solo project where we see the Brockhampton frontman share with his audience a more intimate and concise alternative hip hop album. The project is definitely worth checking out.

My favorite tracks: Big Wheels, Georgia, Baby Boy

The editor may be reached at
[email protected]

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