Kehlani breaks down how she rather have self respect for herself than to be with someone who won’t provide her with happiness.- Mia Haskins
Kehlani Ashley Parrish is a 21-year-old vocalist from Oakland, California. She attended Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) from 6th to 11th grade, transferring mid-year to Berkeley High School. While attending OSA she was the lead singer in a group called Poplyfe, who performed on the show America’s Got Talent in 2011 and placed 3rd. After the show she returned to the Bay Area, where she began to travel back and forth to LA to pursue music.Traveling so much she wasn’t able to focus on school her mentor,Nick Cannon, gave her the ultimatum that she had to finished school or the music thing was over.
Kehlani’s debut full-length album, SweetSexySavage (SSS) was released January 27th, 2017. Prior to this she had released two mixtapes Cloud 19 in 2014 and You Should Be Here in 2015 which earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Urban Contemporary Album” in 2016. SSS has a total of 18 songs and includes singles “CRZY’ & ‘Distraction”. SSS debuted at number .1 on R&B albums Billboard charts.
On this album she has two features, the intro is poem recited by the musical artist Reyna Biddy. The poem speaks about apologies to those who couldn't understand her as a woman. The opening line says, “My condolences to anyone who’s ever lost me.” Which could mean she’s changed over time and she’s not the same person as she was years, months, or even days ago. Some people can’t fathom the thought of someone evolving and becoming better and that’s what she’s saying. The rest of the piece touches on the different moods and personalities of women. In her words she expressed as an adult woman she’s still finding herself within herself. As a human being you never stop learning new things, even in general.
Out of the 18 songs on the albums my personal favorites are “Keep On,” “Not Used to It,” and “Too Much.” My first reaction to the song “Too Much” was that it was made in the 90’s and why was I just now hearing it? Looking deeper into this song, I learned that it was produced by Picard Brothers, and written by Timbaland, Clement Picard, Maxime Picard, Stephen Garret, and Kehlani. The song sampled Aaliyah’s song “More Than A Woman.” The lyrics play with each other, Kehlani’s lyrics favors Aaliyah’s such as saying, “You know I’m more than just a girl,” whereas Aaliyah says, “I’ll be more than a lover.” Both lyrics oth referring to the fact that they’ll be, and are more than expected.
In the song “Not Used to It” she talks about growing up in Oakland and the struggles she’s went threw, the older she got and the more she understood. She talks about her dad passing away and her mom being on drugs and struggling with that. As a young teenager she struggled with being homeless and having to stay with friends and family. She was later adopted by her aunt who practically raised her. In the chorus she apologize about trying not to sound like anyone else or that’s she’s lying. In the next verse she sings about how she was raised by all women and she’s never had a real male figure permanently in her life, doing the right thing.
Kehlani breaks down how she rather have self respect for herself than to be with someone who won’t provide her with happiness. In all the songs this seems to be the message. Either she doesn't care if people rather judge what she does with her life or give her praise for it. It’s her life and she’s had enough criticism for it. Just like her previous projects she get’s very personal. She allows the listener to know her life story and relive it with her.