Ari Lennox is done seeking out love on new album ‘age/sex/location’

After a transformative 3-year hiatus, Ari Lennox is back to bring us another glimpse into her world.

Dreamville‘s songstress has been one of the most impressive acts to blossom onto the scene and bless us with her vocals in recent memory. Coming from a camp whose primary focus is rap, housing stars such as JID, EARTHGANG, and its boss J. Cole, it’s not too often that we see labels like these also sign high-profile singing acts on their roster — with the obvious exception of TDE. After making a huge splash with her 2019 debut album Shea Butter Baby, Ari has finally returned with her sophomore offering age/sex/location.

While many of her younger fans may not understand the meaning behind the title, Lennox explained in a text message to J. Cole how it is a callback to her heavy use of online chatrooms and dating apps searching for love. Age/sex/location, A/S/L for short, was a very common first round of questions asked when meeting a potential partner online, serving as an easy ice breaker for singles. Lennox continued by emphasizing how off-putting of a concept it is that you may never see the person on the other side of the screen in real life, meaning they could transform their personality into anything they think will help them lure a partner.

Cole posted the screenshot of his conversation with Ari to Instagram, as him asking what the new album means garnered this long synopsis. Giving insight into the creation of her new body of work, it is clear that she was frustrated with the mental energy it took dating in this day-and-age: “It reminds me of those age/sex/location days where I actually wasn’t being myself in those chat rooms,” she said.

Throughout the 12-track LP, Ari takes us on her maturation journey, going from looking for love online to coming to terms with knowing that all the love she ever needed is within herself. On the intro “POF (Plenty of Fish),” she speaks on the reassurance that many people in her life would try to provide to her, preaching the reliable cliché “there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”

‘Destined for greatness’ is always what my mama said

Young Black woman approachin’ thirty with no lover in my bed

Cannot settle, I got standards, NASCAR racin’ in my head

Independent, not dumbin’ down everything that makes me grand

“POF (Plenty of Fish)” — Ari Lennox

The sixth track “Mean Mug” sees Ari share her thoughts about a specific lover, and how she wants him all to herself. Telling her exactly what she wants to hear, she is willing to do anything to cuff him. Over the years, Ari made it clear in her music that she’s a hopeless romantic, which is what fueled her search for love. On age/sex/location, she wants to put an end these tendencies once and for all, no matter how hard she makes it seem.

Sonically, the album is by far her most meaningful and well-produced effort yet, as she gives fans a glimpse into the metamorphosis of her love life. Ultimately, Lennox hopes her listeners can relate to her struggle, considering how prevalent online dating is and how difficult it is to gain a clear image of self-love.

Stream ‘age/sex/location’ by Ari Lennox below!

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