Meaning of “Shea Butter Baby” by Ari Lennox & J. Cole

This track is an intimate love song in which American artists Ari Lennox and J. Cole play the roles of two lovers expressing a strong intimate attraction to each other. Apparently the track is entitled “Shea Butter Baby” in reference to Ari’s use of this product in her hair, as the song implies that after a hot session with her lover his pillow is stained with this fatty substance.

Whereas the lyrics of this song aren’t nearly as offensive as other explicit tracks circulating the airwaves these days, it is still quite naughty nonetheless. For instance, the pair makes references to being intimate in an alley near a trash can. Cole’s solo verse also makes seemingly multiple references to a particular act with his woman, which we shall not mention here. However, being the class act that he is, Cole implies that he won’t perform this with a female unless she is someone who he intends to have a lifelong relationship with.

Meaning-wise, this track is standard fare in terms of a hip-hop based, adult-themed love song. However, what makes it different is that the artists, especially J. Cole, use metaphors and other literary tools to make it more generally palatable than many of its contemporaries.

Facts about “Shea Butter Baby” 

  • Writer(s): This track was written by music producers and songwriters Mike Will Made-It and Elite alongside the song’s primary artists: Cole and Lennox.
  • Producer(s): The co-writers of this track, Mike and Elite, also produced the track, along with producer Shroom.
  • Release Date: This song was initially released on 16 November 2018.
  • Recording Label: The labels behind the production and release of “Shea Butter Baby” are Ear Drummer Records and Interscope.
  • 1st Interesting Stuff: Both Ari Lennox and Elite (the track’s co-producer) are artists signed to J. Cole’s record label, Dreamville.
  • 2nd Interesting Stuff:  Contrary to what some have said, this isn’t really the first time that Lennox and Cole are working together. The pair first worked together on Cole’s 2016 song “Change”. Lennox contributed additional vocals to that track.

On which album does “Shea Butter Baby” appear?

The song appears as the 7th track on the album Creed II: The Album. This album is the soundtrack album for the American sports drama film Creed II (2018). It’s important to mention that producer Mike Will Made-It was the executive producer of the entirety of the aforementioned album.

Did you know – According to DNA tests, Lennox is one-third Nigerian, and she was recently prompted to visit Nigeria as a result.

What is shea butter?

It is a type of fat that is derived from the seeds of the shea tree found in Africa. Shea butter is good for both the skin and hair. It is for this reason that it is commonly used in the cosmetics industry.

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