Kleo rarely shies away from developing stories with an all-encompassing lens. His 2021 EP 1000 Years of Grief, for example, captured the historical lineage of systemic anguish through documented viewpoints and abstract imagery, all while staying empathetic to the subject matter. When the Roxbury native creates a narrative, he does so as an archival poet who understands how the history of people’s struggles can be connected through similar structural forces.
For his newest single, “My Baby,” Kleo joins frequent collaborator and polymath, ProSwervez, as well as Malden singer HaleyJadeEast for a rap/R&B hybrid about a relationship void of a flicker. In the track, Kleo doesn’t have time to consider the material amenities within a relationship: he’d rather ponder the authenticity of it all (“Do you love me or just the life I lead/Will do you like them, and steady up and leave”)
“My Baby” still carries that chill macabre found on Kleo’s previous work, but the tempo is at a slightly higher velocity, thanks to taut drums and a sparkling groove courtesy of Stoic Beats.
“This song is essentially about questioning a codependent and superficial relationship while I’m navigating my own emotions and problems,” Kleo told me over Instagram.
While the subject matter is consequential, the smooth chorus from HaleyJadeEast makes “My Baby” somewhat of a cautious singalong, and ProSwervez’s verse adds a bit of a humorous angle to the ubiquitous tale (“Prada don’t impress her, so I bought her couple stocks.”).
“The chorus is sung from the woman’s perspective, and my verse is a statement about who I am, what I’m going through, what I offer as a human and questioning the loyalty of someone who just wants to be sexually intimate and smoke,” Kleo continues.
Listen to the track below and keep an eye out for the video, when it’s released.