Raise your hand if you flipped out after getting news that the legendary DJ Drama decided to team up with J. Cole's Dreamville label, one of the hottest rosters in hip-hop and R&B, to drop a mixtape. Raise your hand again if you were equally as excited to see Ari Lennox’s name on two of the tracks upon release.
D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape came ahead of last weekend's 2022 Dreamville Festival in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The hip-hop-heavy mixtape consists of 15 tracks, but R&B and soul lovers will be tempted to skip ahead to the Ari Lennox songs. The first lady of Dreamville holds it down on “Coming Down” and “Blackberry Sap.”
On “Coming Down,” Ari acquiesces to her soul lineage by giving her own spin on the 1976 Rose Royce classic “I'm Going Down,” legendarily covered by the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige in 1994 on "I'm Goin' Down" from her My Life album. Ari's flip isn't a straight-up remake, however.
Lennox helps to co-write completely new lyrics to the tune of "I'm Going Down" for “Coming Down.” She protests tolerating a lover’s shenanigans after they come down from a high on narcotics. She makes it evident she will not put the chaos before whatever it is she has going on in her life since dealing with the tumultuous situationship since high school.
For her second mixtape offering, Ari comes through dripping in sensuality on "Blackberry Sap." She has never been shy to make her requests known, or at least let a lover know what demands they need to meet to stimulate her mind, body and soul. We are all familiar with how forward the racy diva can be from songs such as “Pressure” and her feature on Jazmine Sullivan’s “On It,” which sent Twitter into a frenzy the first time everyone heard it.
Lennox holds that same energy on the sweet and sexy treat “Blackberry Sap.” Over another soul sample – this time of Switch's 1980 slow jam "Love Over And Over Again" – Ari rides the rhythm and sings rousing lyrics in her signature vocals. "I like the way you f**k on me / I want to feel it rain on me / Serve this like that / Black, blackberry sap / Dripping all down your neck / I got that s**t you won't forget," she wails on the chorus that will have you fanning yourself. We can always count on Ms. Lennox to bring a titillating ambiance to spice things up when talking her ish in the sheets.
Ari Lennox did what she needed to do on "Coming Down" and "Blackberry Sap." These songs are a filling appetizer before she decides to drop the full-course meal of her sophomore album. The D.C. native alluded to the release of her new project after generously sharing numerous titles from its tracklist, teasing fans by asking them to help her choose which should make the cut.
While we keep our hunger for the follow-up to 2017’s Shea Butter Baby at bay, stream these two tracks on D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape to hold you over in the meantime.- Advertisement -