5 For Friday: Ari Lennox, Lil Baby, King Krule & More

Intimacy, to us, is locking yourself indoors and cancelling your plans with your mates to listen to a new album all night long. Some of us would rather listen to it with some good company and others would rather blast it from the speakers and disturb their housemates. We won’t judge you on however and whatever way you choose to enjoy. Today, we go two-for-two with a round up of 5 new songs, our favourite of the selection is by Ojerime who makes an awaited return with her latest track ‘Empty.’ Get your Friday started with some of the nicest selections out now!

Lil Baby – Sum 2 Prove

You won’t find anybody with a bigger point to prove than a rapper who has been longing for something to say. Lil Baby has turned out to be one of the popular new gen rappers to emerge in the last few years, under the direction of the Atlanta-based record label Quality Control. He’s back with ‘Sum 2 Prove,’ a track where he doesn’t hesitate to get problems off his chest.

Lil Baby’s hook hits hard over the vigour of stomping drums and jolted synths caught up in an epic orchestral melody. Delivering his truth with plainspoken lines gelled over unfolding piano keys that induce a kind of edginess you’d find in a thriller. “They don’t want to see us on TV unless it’s the news” he raps and alludes to the demise faced by a young Black man like himself in America. Nevertheless, Lil Baby refuses to crumble under pressure and runs straight to the bag with his eyes set on making it out.

Ojerime – Empty

It’s impossible to ignore the void left in your body after giving so much of yourself away. What do you give when you have nothing else to give? You know how the story goes. Ojerime translates that shallow feeling into sonics on her first release of the year, following a stint away from the music, ‘Empty’ is a refresher waiting to be heard by your ears.

The stylistic covers that adorn her EPs are only a third of what makes Ojerime an intriguing singer. With an aesthetic that harkens back to the late 90s, her dark strain of R&B music will shatter any presumptions. The voguish singer’s musing is interrupted by murky strings and humane 808s which blare out like loud music coming out of a car. Her thoughts are far from caged on ‘Empty’ as she contemplates whether she will be fine over a slow tempo and deep, snazzy guitar riffs. On the closing end, Ojerime’s “let me lay, let me lay now” chants fold into wails that trickle down into an alarm signalling for help.

King Krule – (Don’t Let The Dragon ) Draag On

King Krule is an alien who can effortlessly morph himself and his sound to cover much ground. The raw vocal and sombre tone has seen him manoeuvre through the contours of post-punk music as a solo act as well as an able right-hand man to some of your favourite underground rappers.

On ‘Draag On’ he cuts back on the jazz and ponders about what it means to be human. At first the score can feel a bit blasé once the fluid artist begins his spiel, murmuring dejectedly into the microphone. King Krule’s free thoughts are scattered loosely like broken shards of glass that cut you upon closer inspection. Blurted over a near-empty soundscape playing a drum beat with clashing cymbals and aloof strums sliding out of lone guitar strums. The empathetic lines eventually change into a despairing mantra and ruins any chance of a happy ending.

Wale – Love… (Her Fault) feat. Bryson Tiller

Alcohol is often a late night crutch perfect for the club, but when everything goes upside down it can be your worst enemy. Wale tells us his side of the story, touching on the pitfalls of being in a toxic situation, and like a bottle of fizzy juice waiting to spill, he pours out a little bit of himself.

Wale and Bryson Tiller link up on ‘Love… (Her Fault)’ and star in the Teyana Taylor directed video in which they act out a romantic narrative. Bryson Tiller delivers a solid hook over nodding 808s and claps, while Wale raps titter between cynicism and maturity. Mirroring the story through Wale’s lyricism, the visual places both artists in the spotlight and cuts between glimpses of their playful performance. The often elusive singer Bryson Tiller soft melodic raps blends in seamlessly with high-pitched loops which circle around sacred piano keys. Coming off Wale’s ‘Wow… That’s Crazy’ album, today seems like the perfect day to give the album another spin.

Dreamville ft Ari Lennox – Bussit 

Honing in on the high of her debut album ‘Shea Butter Baby’, Ari Lennox, the first lady of Dreamville, shares ‘Bussit,’ which comes off the director’s cut of ‘Revenge of The Dreamers III’ compilation project. The nimble singer works some magic over a classy hip-hop function oozing with old-school R&B swing.

Ari Lennox skips comfortably through a cool bounce of 808s which ascend and descend like a sobering roller coaster ride. On this solo outing, the songstress cruises through hollow chimes and snappy drums boasting a body jerking pattern. Filling your mind up with freakish lines as vivid as sex flashbacks at a rather uncomfortable moment, “Ride, don’t be scared of me, I’m rowdy as they can be”, she sings unabashed on ‘Bussit.’ The Dijon Styles et al production bodes well with Ari Lennox’s rap sung delivery laced over the sultry textures spotted on ‘Chicago Boy.’ ‘Bussit’ is without a doubt a song that’ll find its way into your playlist this weekend.