Ari Lennox's "Get Close," André 3000's "Ninety Three 'Til Infinity And Beyoncé" & More Tracks To Vibe To
Culture & Entertainment

Ari Lennox's "Get Close," André 3000's "Ninety Three 'Til Infinity And Beyoncé" & More Tracks To Vibe To

The new music released this week is alluring in the sense that it seems like everyone has stopped to consider how they relate to others and how they see themselves. Some analyses ("Chanel Pit" and "First Person Shooter") conclude that they are fantastic individuals, while other analyses ("Red Flags," "These Four Walls," "Tummy Hurts," and "Get Close") leave artists feeling angry with the people in their immediate environment and the way they have been treated by them.

Other tunes, like "Ninety Three 'Til Infinity And Beyoncé" and Noname's recent Tiny Desk Performance, induce a sense of calm by encouraging introspection. This week's music, in contrast to previous weeks, exudes confidence and self-assurance. Although the artists are still seeking personal development, it's encouraging to see people recognize their own beauty and opportunities for growth without criticizing or punishing themselves for not reaching their goals.

Here are the top ten songs of the week, you'll be thankful you gave them a listen.

"ON THE RIVER (Live Session)" - Offset

If you haven't viewed this video and song yet, please do so immediately, as it is less than two minutes long. For what reason? Well, a variety of factors. First off, Offset's career is at its pinnacle. Following the release of his most recent album, SET IT OFF, Offset has demonstrated remarkable artistic development.

He has exceptional lyricism, and his creative approach is more methodical. With these changes since his 2019 album, it has been a delight to observe his superabundance of imagination.

This song "On the River" demonstrates just how strategic he has become in his artistry. With Kirby talking about the Mississippi River in the backdrop, Offset performs his song in a fast-paced flow with his son, Wave, acting as his hype-man. With his son in hand, Offset raves about his success and lists how he has gained riches since he left his group. When he begins talking about how these riches provide for his family, Wave begins dancing creating a charming father-and-son moment.

"First Person Shooter" - Drake ft. J. Cole

It was a wise choice for Drake to release "First Person Shooter," which features J. Cole for his newest single and video. This is mostly because the other tracks on the album For All the Dogs—aside from "Rich Baby Daddy," "8am in Charlotte," and "Calling For You"—are mediocre at best, if not downright dull. "First Person Shooter" was released a few days after Drake and Cole revealed their 2024 joint tour, and the song tracks the two artists as they talk about their present standing in the rap business and how they demand to be considered one of the best.

Drake discusses his lavish lifestyle, comparing himself to a Super Bowl game or concert, and how he nearly surpassed Michael Jackson, the greatest artist in history. He also touches on his ruthless and opulent lifestyle during the two verses he raps.

Conversely, Cole talks about how other rappers use his name as a kind of "beef" to start a rivalry with him in order to gain something from it. He also discusses his standing in the rap game as a result of the praise that his albums have received from critics, his notable feature runs, and his luxurious musical productions, all of which have led to him being regarded as one of the greatest rappers of the present generation. The video is fun and clever and in the end, you can't help but agree that they are two of the greatest rappers in the game.

"Chanel Pit" - Tierra Whack

Speaking of the greatest rappers in the game, Tierra Whack needs to be held in that regard, as well. Unfortunately, I am certain that her gender prevents many people from viewing her as such. Even more tragically, she is seldom ever acknowledged for her brilliance when people consider the female rappers who are currently dominating the rap scene. In any case, it's long overdue that Tierra Whack receives recognition for her artistic ability, and I hope this song contributes to that. She creates catchy, fun, lighthearted, and entertaining songs and frequently presents them in the same way. Is this among her finest compositions?

No. If you're looking for that you need to go to her 2018 album, Whack World, or listen to her singles "Only Child" or "Unemployed." Even yet, this song is nonetheless worthy of its popularity since she mumbles humorously over a Kalimba tune, and her strange lines about smells and sensory overload in a mosh pit are accompanied by massive, bass-heavy beats. The term "Chanel Pit" refers to a very real place, a recalls a time when a friend of Whack's noticed her perfume odor while she was at a performance with a mosh pit. The song serves as the first taste of Whack's next album, which is set to be released in early 2024. Judging by her previous singles, it might be something wonderful.

"Get Close" - Ari Lennox

My displeasure with Ari Lennox's lack of recognition is similar to my initial feelings of annoyance with SZA and Victoria Monét. Although the other two have finally begun to receive the credit they deserve, Ari has still been left out in the cold, receiving fleeting moments of acclaim. Despite being a fantastic singer and artist with a vast repertory, for some reason, not enough people have recognized her as the mainstream star that she truly is.

In her latest single, "Get Close," Lennox sings over the chorus with a melodic yearning, demanding her love get close in proximity, and emotionally.

The song is not long, and in all honesty, the song doesn't need to be—it lasts less than three minutes. The message doesn't have to take longer to reach its intended audience, because it is clear-cut and simple. She wants to be close to her lover. She gently draws his attention to his sporadic distancing, despite her worry, and reminds him of the occasions when it is appropriate to trust her enough to be close. So, she knows how obstinate he can be and when he might want to retreat. With this song, she may easily entice him back into her embrace and their inevitable bond.

"These Four Walls" - Khamari

In the sea of R&B singers, it is no surprise that the artist Khamari finds himself drowning in their artistry. Another artist deserving of recognition, his sultry voice is on full display in his newest single "These Four Walls." A song about loneliness and longing for love to come back to him, Khamari proclaims his love for his lover but is only met with disappointment at her ever-flighty behavior.

This forces him to place a higher value on the walls than he ought to because he perceives them as more trustworthy and consistent than the partner who ignores him, betrays him, and makes unobtainable and unreasonable demands. In the end, he sadly recognizes that the walls are the only things in his life that can provide stability and protection for his love's selfishness and although it is not something he wants, he realizes it's the only thing he has.

"Tummy Hurt" - Reneé Rapp and Coco Jones

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of Reneé Rapp. Although I don't have anything against the musician, I haven't found a song of hers that I find particularly noteworthy or that I care about enough to download. That was before today. I didn't anticipate this remix of "Tummy Hurts," coming out like this, but all of a sudden I was downloading and playing the song nonstop. Coco Jones, a five-time Grammy nominee (I love writing that), is featured on the remix, which has brought the song to life in a manner I never imagined.

Rapp starts the song by singing on how difficult it is to depend on her ex for both emotional and financial assistance while an electric guitar is strumming along. She showed him affection even though he wasn't worthy of it, and in exchange he showed another person his affection. She therefore only wants the best for the couple, but she also has a secret hope that they will learn a valuable lesson via the suffering of their predestined kid, whom Rapp hopes would suffer the same anguish she had. Jones reflects similar sentiments, wondering how the devil maintains all of his wicked traits while maintaining such a lovely appearance. It's entertaining to hear the vocalists belt over each other as they join the chorus and express their fervent desire for the demise of both his new partner and their ex.

"The Glass" - H.E.R. ft. Foo Fighters

Remember that time Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar performed together at the 2014 Grammy Awards, and everyone thought, "What the f***?" and "Why the f***?" However, it ended up being a song worth listening to and one of the night's top performances. Well, that's the exact sentiments I expressed when I saw H.E.R.'s name next to the Foo Fighters. Though, unexpectedly this does not have much of the Foo Fighters on the song. Instead, this is a cover of Foo Fighter's "The Glass."

Reflective of her debut album, this song is very ballad-based and anthem-like, which isn't always a bad thing. But after hearing one ballad-like speech too many, it becomes redundant and leaves a lot to be desired with this chosen single. Her voice is beautiful, but once the song concludes, it doesn't leave much of an impression on the listener.

"Red Flags" - Brittany Howard

The excitement I hold for this upcoming album is simply unfathomable. And with the constant releases of her singles, I find that I am getting more and more excited as the weeks drag on. "Red Flags," Brittany Howard's latest single, is an emotional, expressionist rumination on a failing relationship.

Brittany Howard's "Red Flags" unfolds like an ethereal jazz emotional breakdown, except in her interpretation. The topic of the song is the propensity to see warning signs and to ignore them entirely despite knowing better.

Unlike the songs that Howard usually creates, this song leans less on the electric guitar and more on the funky and at times erratic beats of the drum, and Howard's low raspy voice told as if she is coming to some kind of realization throughout the song. When she finally acknowledges where she is at fault, her low rasp turns into a high-pitched scream of frustration.

"Ninety Three 'Til Infinity And Beyoncé" - André 3000

The music on the new album New Blue Sun, is lovely and a great example of how people may get more introspective as they age. André 3000 opted to use a flute, which has been an inspiration to him for the past few years, to produce an album because he wanted to make a rap record but had nothing to talk about. This album, which lasts for one hour and eight minutes, is a peaceful, serene experience as all of the tracks are at 432 Hz, the healing frequency for calmness and relaxation.

With "Ninety Three 'Til Infinity And Beyoncé," André 3000 crafts a catchy, melodious atmosphere that keeps you enthralled for over four minutes.

Noname: Tiny Desk Concert

Not many artists have returned to the Tiny Desk performances. When they do, however, Tiny Desk demands that they either come in a new version or give something completely different. The 23-minute performance included revolutionary raps from Noname's third album Sundial, as well as the premiere of an unreleased song by hip-hop trio Ghetto Sage, which includes her and longtime collaborators Smino and Saba. The album, Sundial, is a brilliant examination of American culture and marks Noname's first release in five years.

Noname is tired of the anti-critical positive culture we've fostered over the years and is disgusted by the way this movement has produced marketed performances that turn Black art and culture into commodities.

This record is remarkable, enlightening, and self-aware in a manner that Noname has never been before. She is not trying to portray herself as a revolutionary in this, but she is also not going to remain silent about the absurdity she is seeing all around her or for other people. Watch the entire 23 minutes of this performance, and become enraptured in the artist as she finally shows that she deserves to be recognized as a groundbreaking artist of her time.

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Featured image by Ari Lennox/YouTube




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