Track by Track Album Analysis: Ari Lennox-“Shea Butter Baby”

J. Cole’s Dreamville label First Lady, Ari Lennox, released her unapologetically soulful R&B debut studio album Shea Butter Baby on May 7th.

The easy listening and relatable project ranges in subject matter from meeting a potential love interest, exploring sensual connections, while also navigating emotions during and post heartbreak.

Here is a track by track analysis for Ari Lennox’s Shea Butter Baby debut album!

  ○ #1 “Chicago Boy”– a story of initial attraction when meeting a Chicago native in a local convenience store and not wanting to be judged if anything happened to occur further 

  ○ #2 “BMO”-acronym for “break me off”-shares sample with Busta Rhymes “Woo Ha”-Lennox bluntly expresses her desire for intimacy after initial attraction 

  ○ #3-“Broke”-featuring fellow Dreamville J.I.D artist; reminiscent collaboration of life prior to success and maneuvering through love and life during your lowest moments 

  ○ #4-“Up late”-a song about sharing time with a significant other overnight and exploring connections 

  ○ #5-“Shea Butter Baby”-featuring Dreamville record label founder J Cole; where the two detail sensual interactions and the after effects of Shea butter remnants left when everything is over 

  ○ #6-“Speak to me”-a song expressing how it is to go through the motions and hurdles of love

  ○ #7-“New apartment”-the symbolism and unapologetic appreciation for independence 

  ○ #8-“FaceTime”-the realization that interpersonal interactions are important while building visual anticipation for seeing a love interest in person 

  ○ #9-“Pop”-appreciating someone who loves you for who you are, but wanting reassurance that their relationship will eventually lead to life long commitment (ie marriage)

  ○ #10-“I been”-getting over heartbreak and trying to continue life in the midst of emotional hardship  

  ○ #11-“Whipped Cream”-finding comfort in food during emotional hardship and caring too much for the way things used to be than she wants herself to 

  ○ #12-“Static”-appreciating the qualities her partner has beneath the surface and already being everything that is needed

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