There’s no exaggeration when I say that Kehlani is one of the best R&B artists of this time. No matter if she’s releasing her own music or featuring on a song – she kills it. Kehlani’s passion and talent shines through the things she does. And her being an out queer person of color is an inspiration to many of us.
When she announced that she’d be releasing her mixtape, “While We Wait”, I was beyond excited for it. Then once it dropped there was a collective freak out. Not only did I purchase the mixtape on iTunes, but I listened to it on Spotify. Repeatedly to be exact. “Footsteps” is the first track the takes you on this 31-minute journey. Aside from it flipping an Omarion song and having Musiq Soulchild as a feature – it’s the perfect track to start the mixtape off. There’s an intense honesty about the failings of a relationship and how people walk away so easily.
“Too Deep” is the soft version of Kehlani’s “Do U Dirty” and yet again it’s her just being honest. Situations can become sticky and overly complicated when not everyone is on the same page. Then it’s more stress than it’s actually worth. And what started off as screwing around, turns into the ultimate stress fest. Where it’s too deep for the circumstances.
The banger that is “Nunya” (which features Dom Kennedy) happens to be the third track. Right away it’s obvious what the song’s about. A jealous ex that just won’t let things go. Kehlani makes it clear whose business it is when it pertains to her affairs. She doesn’t hold back when she drags this person left to right.
“Morning Glory” swoops in as a song about Kehlani expressing if someone doesn’t want her authentically then they can’t have her at all. Not in her morning glory or late at night for that matter. In its own way it’s a self-love anthem that should be appreciated.
Accepting how you feel for someone can be an act of bravery for most. “Feels” isabout just that and the beat doesn’t present it as a song of fear. Kehlani bravely states that “You give give me feels”and you either get how that is or you don’t.
“Nights Like This”(which features Ty Dolla $ign) is a personal favorite that I had on repeat before the mixtape released. It’s about dishonesty within a relationship and being jumbled around within that. A favorite line of mine in the song is “Should have never gave you my heart on consignment”.The lyrical genius in that line alone helps makes the song as deep as it is.
RPG (which features 6lack ) has such an interesting concept to it. Considering how easy it is to question a person’s actions. Were they fulfilling a request because you asked or because they wanted to? Are they simply playing a role, or do they truly want you? The song is very real and expresses much vulnerability from both Kehlani and 6lack.
“Butterfly”may not be the longest track but it’s soft and creates so many visuals. It embodies those sensations that can come from a new relationship. How it can be scary and also exciting at the same time. Picturing the process of metamorphosis will make this song even more beautiful. And the outro wraps the song up so neatly:
“You speak in dictionaries while fearing less than all will understand
Virgo moon, I’m so used to your dance
Tongue too swole to comprehend
I see you duck and dodge at every bend
Afraid to play your card, be forced to show your hand
I hope you take from this that it’ll make you no less of a man
To break your walls and simply grab my hand
Love shouldn’t be contraband
It shouldn’t trample on your confidence
Shouldn’t be seen as less than compliments”
“Love Language” is the send-off for the mixtape and it’s such a pretty little song. The song is based on a specific couple but at first listen it can be about general communication in a relationship. Not everyone shows how they feel in the same way or expresses love the same. So, at times it’s about learning someone’s love language and understanding it.