Ascendant rap star Baby Keem secured one of the more notable wins of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards by emerging victorious for best rap performance, alongside superstar cousin Kendrick Lamar, for their collaboration “Family Ties.”
“Wooow,” expressed an obviously bowled-over Keem upon accepting the Grammy. “Nothing could prepare me for this moment tonight. I just wanna say thank you to my support system, the city of Las Vegas, my family, the women that raised me, to shape me, to become the man I am today.”
Keem went on to thank his “incredible team, the women and men that helped shape everything that we got going on behind the scenes — Dave Free, Kendrick, Niya [Juanita “Niya” Morton, manager], Ant, and many more … just thank you everybody. This is a dream. ”
The win — the first Grammy victory of Keem’s still-young career — came over a trio of veteran hitmakers who all have Grammys of their own already: J. Cole, nominated (along with Morray and 21 Savage) for “My Life”; Cardi B for “Up”; and Megan Thee Stallion for “Thot S–t.” (Kendrick Lamar, of course, has a good deal more Grammy history to his credit, having won 13 times before — most recently in 2019 for “Kings Dead,” along with Jay Rock, Future and James Blake, in the same category.)
“Family Ties,” released in August as an advance single from Keem’s then-upcoming debut album The Melodic Blue, is the rapper’s biggest hit to date on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 18 in 2021. Keem was also nominated for best new artist at this year’s ceremonies, losing the award to Olivia Rodrigo.
Watch his speech below: