Kehlani Gives Us Something to Listen to While We Wait
Kehlani — pregnant, glowing, and making music like she never left. The ethereal songstress dropped her nine-song mixtape on February 21, 2019, which is just weeks before her baby is due. According to The Fader, the title While We Wait serves as symbolism for her second studio album she plans to drop later this year. It’s also an ode to her growing baby bump that she announced in October of 2018. The beautiful mashup of sexy sounds and spell bounding visuals prove that nothing will stop the 23-year-old from connecting to her fans.
Her first commercial mixtape, Cloud 19, was released in 2014, and named by Complex as one of the “50 Best Albums of 2014.” Her second release, You Should Be Here, was her next project in 2015, with hit tracks like “Be Alright” and “Bright.” Although, it was her first official album, SweetSexySavage, that took the Bay Area born and bred singer to a new level. Songs, like “CRZY” and “Distraction,” easily became radio hits and transitioned her from an underground artist to a household name.
Kehlani’s sound is like a ‘90s Aaliyah meets TLC, and this new mixtape stays true to what we love about the mommy-to-be. For those who aren’t familiar with the artist from Atlantic Records, in a nutshell, she is a proud Bisexual woman who rose to fame on America’s Got Talent season six with the teen pop band, POPLYFE. She turned down an offer from Nick Canon to be in a rap group. Despite turning him down, he was an integral part in jumpstarting her career.
The Black, White, and Native American singer was also a former foster youth who was adopted by her aunt. Her father died when she was just a toddler, and her mother went to jail shortly after giving birth to her. Yet, in spite of her childhood, she poured herself into her artistry where she originally wanted to be a backup dancer before changing gears to becoming the woman she is today.
While We Wait gives fans a couple of reminders — Kehlani is a fighter and she’s here to stay. She’s been through a lot, from her very public breakup with Kyrie Irving, to experiencing prenatal depression during the process of carrying her baby. The self-identifying Pansexual incorporates pieces of her love for men and women throughout her new album; possibly due to her relationship with her child’s father, who is boyfriend Javie Young White.
Songs, like “Nights Like This” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, are paired with exciting visuals. In song’s video, Kehlani is featured in a futuristic setting that honors movies, like Ex Machina and the hit HBO series Westworld, as she works to rebuild an unidentified android who she found dead outside of her makeshift warehouse. The singer takes on the persona of a frazzled scientist who starts to build a special relationship with her new “project.” The song gives typical radio hit vibes, but the visuals help take the song to another level.
Similarly, songs like “Nunya” featuring Dom Kennedy and Butterfly effortlessly deliver fun and sexy without negating from her super cute belly bump.
One of my favorite tracks on her mixtape is “Feels,” but it would have been a perfect song for the summer if it was released a little later in the year. It’s one of those songs you turn on and say, “Woah, what is this?,” before starting the song over at least three or four more times (don’t judge!). The track is literally the answer to my R&B radio hit needs without being too mainstream. Hopefully, it’s one of those tracks that makes it to her next album, but if it doesn’t, make sure to listen to it now:
What are your thoughts on Kehlani’s new mixtape? Is it a go, or an absolute no? Considering we are all still waiting for an epic hip-hop or R&B album this year, it’s fair to give While We Wait a shot in the meantime.