Sometime last September, I spent over three hours driving around New York City covering very little ground to ultimately arrive nowhere much worth going. It was a very random afternoon. Nothing Was The Same had just dropped, so naturally that’s all I listened to the whole time.
The drive started off in Jersey City where I was staying at my uncle’s spot, then I drove up to Harlem to pick up Childish Major because he was in the city for the week and we hadn’t kicked it yet. Right before I got to him, Brandun Deshay called me and said to come to his spot in Brooklyn with Childish so they could work on some beats together while we all chilled. Sounded like fun. But I had to scoop Brandun in Soho first; he was waiting for Ken Rebel who was shopping.
So I drove south. By the time I got to Soho (and this was around peak traffic time, mind you), Childish and I had already run through NWTS one and a half times, but then Brandun hopped in the whip and wanted to hear it for himself—specifically “305 To My City,” which at the time he claimed was the best track on the album, and though I didn’t feel him then, I’m kinda cool with that claim now. We waited in the parked car for 15 minutes til Ken joined us, then Brandun told me before we finally went to his crib, we had to scoop this girl named Kehlani and a friend of hers to drop them off somewhere first. He said they were both good singers. I said, “Word.”
After driving for ten or so minutes, we stopped at a street corner and Kehlani and her friend (who turned out to be Jean Deaux, who I had met the previous night) got into the backseat with Brandun and Ken. I said hello to both of them, and Jean and I laughed at the fact that we had already met and were back together a day later randomly, and about how the world is small as fuck, etc. That was the extent of the conversation with them, though. I dropped them off wherever they needed to be, then we headed to Bedstuy.
We got to Brandun’s spot and kicked it for about an hour before Childish had to go somewhere else in Brooklyn. I dropped him off and by that time had very little energy left so I just dipped back to Jersey City instead of returning to Brandun’s. I listened to most of NWTS on the way back. “Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2” was an early favorite; that’s still the case a year later.
Anyway, I told that pretty pointless story to say this: that girl Kehlani that I picked up and dropped off in the midst of a three-hour drive around New York City is really, really good. She’s been making crazy waves this whole year, and her latest video for “FWU” off her Cloud 19 tape from this summer is pretty flawless. She reps the buzzing HBK Gang out of the Bay Area, and everything about her—from her dynamic personality and dancing to her angelic vocals and obvious star power—makes that a fitting pairing. “FWU” is engaging, undeniably fun, and repeat-worthy. She’s bringing a fresh, vibrant edge to R&B (or whatever you want care to label it), and the world (including PARTYNEXTDOOR) is starting to take notice.
So yeah, that’s my Kehlani story. Watch “FWU” above, and download Cloud 19 HERE.