Ari Lennox: Shea Butter Baby

Have you ever come home and wanted to unwind? Music doesn’t sound bad, but who or what? You’re ready to have a night cap or two, relax and simply chill for the night. Well, Ari Lennox is this month’s vibe. Eclectic, sincere, and warm. With the spirit of Erykah Badu, this singer songwriter hailing from Washington, DC has mastered her voice and the lane she’s cruising in.

Ari has come a long way since her independent days in 2013. Back then Ari would release music via the internet. Gaining traction from her mixtape 𝐹𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝐹𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑟 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡 and EP 𝐴𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑦, Lennox landed features on other artist’s tracks and even caught the eye of J. Cole. Not long after she signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville and landed more recognition while continuing to release singles. In 2015 she made an appearance on Dreamville’s collaborative album 𝑅𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑠 ll with song 𝐵𝑎𝑐𝑘𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑡 featuring label-mate Cozz.

July of 2018 she released her first single 𝑊ℎ𝑖𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑑 𝐶𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚. Ari says her voice is, “vulnerable but soulful; imperfect but pretty." We get all of that and more with this years’ album 𝑆ℎ𝑒𝑎 𝐵𝑢𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝐵𝑎𝑏𝑦. It’s a vibe! Encounters with men are apparent as she opens with 𝐶ℎ𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑔𝑜 𝐵𝑜𝑦. A random trip to the store that turns into something more. Passion and devotion is expressed in 𝐵𝑀𝑂, 𝑈𝑝 𝐿𝑎𝑡𝑒 & 𝐵𝑟𝑜𝑘𝑒 featuring JID. The acknowledgment of independence in 𝑁𝑒𝑤 𝐴𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 is most relatable. Many of us have had to take the appropriate steps and prepare for our first or an upgraded apartment.

Her candor mimics an emotion most experience when dealing with people and things we love. Most women tend do more for men that accept their flaws and all. 𝑃𝑜𝑝 is a great example of that notion. The tactics and vices we experience during the downs of love are conveyed in 𝐼 𝐵𝑒𝑒𝑛. She ends the compilation with 𝑊ℎ𝑖𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑑 𝐶𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 & 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑐. Motown vibes and the understanding that we fuck up sometimes, get out of control and love hard. Ari gets it... you won’t be disappointed.

About The Author

Shanni began writing poetry at an early age. Born in Newark, yet raised in East Orange, New Jersey she started expressing herself through creative writing. Those creations, nationally acclaimed, initiated a validation that has moved her to write pieces driven by emotion. A now songwriter, Shanni credits her podcast experiences for initiating an interest in journalism and media.

While her passion may be songwriting, she has always felt an obligation to keep others informed. Topics may vary, but her stance remains consistent. Knowing is imperative for growth. Oftentimes, Shanni’s writing are honest yet useful. Whether it’s a musical review, local and national covering, or a shorty story her goal is to invoke thought. Thoughts that lead to conversations and eventually initiate a needed change.

Follow her on IG @d_overweightloveher

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