The track is split into two distinct halves, with Baby Keem opening the track with a barrage of bars that fly over sharp drums and, at first a blazing hornfarwe, before a lilting flute loop slides in later. The beat shifts into something far grittier for Lamar’s verse, as he spits over grinding synths: “I’ve been ducking the pandemic/I’ve been ducking the social gimmicks/I’ve been ducking the overnight activist, yeah/I’m not a trending topic, I’m a prophet.”
“Family Ties” also arrives with a music video, directed by Dave Free, that features a cameo from Normani.
“Family Ties” notably marks Lamar’s first bit of new music in 2021, while last year he featured on just one song, Busta Rhymes’ “Look Over Your Shoulder.” Lamar’s last proper solo album, Damn, arrived in 2017, while the following year he anchored the Black Panther soundtrack. In a message earlier this month, Lamar said he was working on his next album, which he noted would be his last with longtime label, TDE.
Baby Keem, meanwhile, has released just one other song this year, “Durag Activity,” with Travis Scott. The rapper is prepping the follow-up to his 2019 album, Die for My Bitch, which will be titled The Melodic Blue (full details, including a release date, have yet to be announced).