The Garbanzo Bean Queen herself Ari Lennox took some time away from her tour and moisturizing her situation with shea butter to bedazzle us with her music knowledge and talent on ELLE’s “Song Association.” On the YouTube series, singers are given a word and have 10 seconds to sing a song lyric using that word with the goal of getting a perfect score of 15/15 at the end. Ari wasn’t sure how she’d fare, expressing at the beginning, “I think I could be high key trash. We’ll see what happens.”
Lennox got off to a strong start with the first word “sweet,” for which she sang “Sweet Thing” by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. For “love” she chose the “Song Association” fave “Love” by Musiq Soulchild. Of course, for “baby” she sang her own hit “Shea Butter Baby.” The singer then paused to explain how she now carries around mason jars of shea butter so that she can always have it in those clutch ashy moments instead of just the plastic bottles. For the word “one” Ari performed “One Wish” by Ray J, but she didn’t know the actual lyrics, so she kinda made up her own. She did the same for Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop The Music,” then informed us that knowing all the lyrics wasn’t part of the competition. But what our girl did know was how to plug her album, Shea Butter Baby, not only telling us to pause the video to go listen to it, but also singing a number of tracks from the project. Of course, she also sang a mix of songs from others, including John Legend, Erykah Badu, Al Green and even Luther Vandross.
Besides her obvious talent, what also shined in Ms. Lennox’s video was her personality and sense of humor. It felt more like an intimate moment with the singer than just a faux singing competition. But don’t get it twisted. Ari was still about her business and got that coveted perfect score, rising to the top of the scoreboard. Watch Ari’s turn in the “Song Association” hot seat, and see how the reigning queen took the crown.