Ari Lennox has been the soulful face of Dreamville Records for nearly four years now. We've been drip fed tastes of her powerfully absorbing brand of R &B for some time, all the while looking for the debut album that would tie it together and give her the bold introduction that she deserves. Well, finally, that time has come. Today, she's released her debut studio album, Shea Butter Baby.
Shea Butter Baby is 12 tracks worth of powerful funk, sensual blends, and lustful odes. It features her labelmates J. Cole and J.I.D. In the official album art of the songs, which you won't be able to see on streaming services, the tracks are numbered in hair textures. It's a brilliant homage to brown skin that showcases her wit and infatuation with her skin's hue. The LP features her previously released singles, "Up Late," and the title track.
It doesn't just feel great to get this release, it feels earned. Her last EP was 2016's Pho. Since then, she's been featured on Dreamville artists' songs like Bas' "Icarus" and J. Cole's "Change." Now, the world gets to see the full extent of what she can do.