Hailing from Washington D.C., the sultry singer/songwriter known as Ari Lennox seemingly arrived on the scene out of nowhere last December, when she was signed by Dreamville and put the world on notice with the groovy 'Backseat' record - one that was clearly one of the best records off the Revenge of the Dreamers II compilation album - and that’s saying a lot when your music is alongside J Cole.
Nonetheless after critical acclaim and heavy anticipation by those who know better, here she is a year later with her debut project off Dreamville’s imprint entitled Pho, critiqued track by track below:
“That yuengling make you do ya thang, all white docs and a pinky ring, pop it so good make you wanna sing, all night long like a mary jane” Produced by Felly this one has a nice vibe to it and it definitely works for her style, but she’s got better hooks and melodies to come
Backseat ft Cozz
"Would you hit it how I like, would you hit it in the back seat of my ride" As stated above this was easily one of the best records off Revenge of the Dreamers II - and it was also one of best r&b records to come out in 2015 period. A perfect instrumental from DJ Grumble is complimented by a fire 16 from Cozz and what’s now Ari Lennox’s signature soulful melody <<< this song is timeless and is a great addition to the Dreamville catalogue
“Purple in the sky, cruising highway 85, thought I saw a shooting star, beaming in your haunting eyes” One of the strongest cuts on the project, her lyrics are 100% on point on this and she’s always good for the sultry narrative and the smooth melody that effectively captures the vibe.
La La La La
“Coiled in your skin, is where I'm stuck, I'll be coming again, sweet charcoal black is where I wanna be at, I'll be coming back” Originally released on her debut project the Ariography EP back in 2013 this record is a slow burn but it’s absolutely perfect. This deserved to be brought back to get the Pho treatment and Ari Lennox is a problem out here.
"You know my roommates ain't home, and its really cold outside, you know I hate bein' alone, bet I'll get you right” Produced by DJ Grumble this is unequivocally the best of the brand new records, and this is officially my new anthem for many winter seasons to come. Timeless record this could be a throwback to any era.
“Give me one more hit of that everyday nasty, so nasty, light me up, till my problems straight past me, and baby let it fall right through me... I said me and my backwood… Ooh we be vibing so good…” A solid album cut to roll up and watch your problems go away…
“Said baby you're the greatest, of all time the greatest, so won't you hit my line, you're still on my mind” The final record off the Pho project is one of the strongest, with even more fire production from DJ Gumble and Ari Lennox showcases one of her smoothest melodies on the tape.
Overall Ari Lennox is at least 6 of 7 from the field on this, and as J Cole’s artist she seems to understand the concept of less is more. Right now Ari Lennox’s mystique is right where it needs to be and the quality attached to her name is undisputable. She’s the perfect R&B act for the Dreamville camp (almost like a Rihanna meets Alicia Keys) and she looks ready to make major moves for the team for many years to come