Ari Lennox: Shea Butter Baby

Ari Lennox: Shea Butter Baby

Ari Lennox has done it again! Although Shea Butter Baby is the sultry singer’s first studio album, Ari has continuously been making waves and headlines throughout the music industry with her EP Pho which dropped in good ol 2016. Lennox is finally making it mainstream but she is no stranger to stardom as she’s signed under rapper J Cole’s label, Dreamville Records, and worked as the opening act for the musician on his 4 Your Eyes Only tour, on top of working on hits with various top artists. The moment I heard about her debut album, I knew it was going to be all about Ari, it was finally time for her to internationally shine on her own!

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This "vulnerable but soulful; imperfect but pretty” voice of Ari’s flows perfectly as each lyric is spewed from her. Lennox’s voice is so foreign yet familiar and comfortable…I suppose that’s the effect that all soul music is supposed to have. With help from J.I.D, J. Cole & even saxophone solos from Maségo, Shea Butter Baby touches on topics of sex, relationships, independence & of course, weed.

Chicago Boy: In the opening song of the album, the songstress describes meeting a guy from Chicago at a CVS store & telling him all of the things she wants to do to him and his body. Of course a girl like me can appreciate a song as such.

Shea Butter Baby: Quite possibly the most popular song on the album, Shea Butter Baby features J. Cole in a melodic song all about her sexual desires.

Touch me, take me, kiss me
Love me, impress me
Pull up, black truck, ganja
Wrist so blinding, heart so timeless
Wishing, you could meet me, see me, freak me
— Ari Lennox, Shea Butter Baby

New Apartment: This is a song that damn near every Millennial can relate to! I wish I had this song when I got my first apartment, but you can definitely know that it’ll be played as soon as I move into someplace new! New Apartment is all about not only her new digs but her newfound independence and the peace that comes with that. She can be her true self without the criticism of anyone else. And hey, isn’t that what we all want in the end?

I might just read a book, don’t need no cable
Blast Selena, “El Toro Relajo”
And everything stays where I leave it
Every damn rule I created
A Dollar Tree wine glass is in the air
André will get me there
No longer afraid of the dark
’Cause that light bill changed my heart (Said it changed)
Made a nigga act smart (Said that shit changed)
— Ari Lennox, New Apartment
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Don’t think for a second that this is the last you’ll hear of Ari Lennox! The D.C native just kicked off her Shea Butter Baby Tour and although she's not stopping in the Twin Cities, you can easily make your rounds to Chicago for a weekend trip!

It’s only a matter of time before Ari starts working on her next big project (if she isn’t already) and I honestly believe that Ari is here to stay.

Pop: This is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album simply because it seems as though she’s reading my mind haha. If I were to make a song (and actually have the talent to), it would probably go something like Pop!

If I pop this pussy, for you tonight
Will you promise, baby
Won’t you make a promise
That I’m gonna be your wife?
— Ari Lennox, Pop
Sometimes women are put in this box where we’re only supposed to talk about certain things, I want to be braver and riskier. I think people want to hear that kind of honesty and frankness.
— Ari Lennox

All in all, Shea Butter Baby is an amazing body of work and it somehow gives me everything I need in an album. There’s bangers, songs that feed the soul & I didn’t even mention the bomb ass outros to her songs. With each outro she gives us insight to the song and to what’s going on that eccentric, beautiful mind of hers. Don’t count Ari Lennox out, she’s only just begun!

Words by Maya Clark // @mayaexplains