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