Ari Lennox's early 00s throwbacks are not to be missed at Roots Picnic - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Ari Lennox | via

Despite being signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, Ari Lennox is still a relatively new face in the R&B scene, but one that is quickly gaining traction. The D.C. native Lennox released her first full-length album Shea Butter Baby on May 7th, featuring artists like J. Cole and JID.

Having no prior taste of fame, her lyrics are all too relatable and raw. In “New Apartment” she sings, “I just got a new apartment / I’m gonna leave the floor wet” because without roommates, “nobody can tell me shit.” In “Broke,” Ari, and JID discuss the dynamic of a relationship confined by being “broke.” They mention riding Amtrak and the shared experience of trying to rise above poverty. Her sultry, early 2000s esque R&B sound combined with the qualms of being a millennial is exceedingly fresh. In “I Been,” she discusses having the worst luck on Tinder and smoking purple haze.

After having her song “Shea Butter Baby” featured in a Creed II teaser and “Night Drive” on the Everything, Everything soundtrack she’s quickly inserting herself in pop culture. It will be interesting to see how her lyricism and sound change with this newfound fame.

This Saturday, June 1st, Ari Lennox performs at the Roots Picnic at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and here at The Key, we are totally looking forward to her set. Lennox plays the festival’s Fairmount Park stage at 2:40 p.m., more information can be found here.

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