New Apartment: Ari Lennox Produced: Elite Album: Shea Butter Baby
'New Apartment' is the kind of track that slips into your routine and ends up on repeat for months. It begins with what feels like a warm invite into the space that Lennox goes on to sing about: four bars of soft instrumentation made up partly of open hi hats and a relaxed bass guitar that melt into each other by the end of the intro.
What follows is an unapologetically confident chorus in which Lennox asserts her autonomy within her new apartment, concluding that 'nobody can tell me [her] shit'. This expression of independence is sustained throughout the song with lyrics such as 'everything stays where I leave it, every damn rule I created.' Lennox's decision to dedicate an entire track to embracing her own space is especially significant considering its place in the long history of writers and activists- such as Mary Church Terrell and Frances Harper- that have fought for the civil rights of black women in the US, including the right for an unmarried black woman to own property.
Simultaneously though, Lennox's comments on the domestic frustrations that she is now free from add an element of relatability and light-heartedness to the track. As well as her lyrics, Lennox's voice itself leaves the listener craving more; it is undeniably distinct in it's agility and tone, which is somehow rich, sweet and sexy all at once. 😍