Kehlani is the gift that keeps on giving. She has released yet another smash single called “Advice.” After the recent success of her singles "CRZY" and "Distraction," I was both surprised and pleased to hear a slow, sentimental song. It certainly has a different pace than her previous singles but still maintains a steady, attractive beat that instills a confident and hopeful tone. She provides listeners with an empowering and thoughtful message and an appealing, positive musical vibe. Although Kehlani cites relationship troubles within the song, she does not place blame upon herself in a self-deprecating manner. Instead, she accepts that it is her duty to reclaim her identity and follow her own advice. She powerfully sings, “You had to break me, take me/ To make me better/ But I had to save me, baby/ Now or never.”
This new song is the latest single off her upcoming debut album, SweetSexySavage. “CRZY” and “Distraction” will also be included on the album, but the other 16 tracks remain a mystery. Even though each of her singles are very different, a common theme among them is empowerment. In "CRZY," she raps, “All this shit I've been through and it made me more of an assassin/I kill ‘em, I kill ‘em, I kill ‘em with compassion.” Here she is explaining her struggles as the origin of her strength. She defends the notion that a woman can be both strong and compassionate, refusing to simply fit into the mold of one characterization. Similarly, in "Distraction," Kehlani describes a girlfriend acting as a sexual distraction without interfering in her dedication and devotion to her music. This track reveals another raw aspect of her complex persona and I am extremely grateful to listen to a musical artist who remains raw and honest in her music.
The fact that Kehlani expresses three different sentiments in these three singles does not suggest a fragmented personality. Rather, it affirms that she can embody multiple characteristics instead of attempting to fit into stereotypical molds. She can be sweet, sexy, and savage simultaneously. In my opinion, this is an empowering and heartening message to all women who think that they need to remove or hide aspects of themselves to fit into a box. To explain the meaning of the album title, she tweeted, “As women we are told that we cannot be multi layered...we are put in boxes...we can’t be all the above...reclaim yourself.”
Kehlani's new album is set to be released on January 27th and is available for pre-order now.