Sometimes, modern R&B music ends up sounding like evidence tapes for exorcisms. Many of the biggest hits from the last few years are made up of disembodied whispers and chants, minimalism, and forced attempts to massage the eardrums instead of sending chills down the spine. It sounds good in a neck beard and beanie-hat-in-summer kind of way, but it isn't always memorable. Ari Lennox is the antithesis to this, with deeply soulful music that pays homage to the earnestness of 90s R&B, while pushing a modern ferocity. The 27-year-old vocalist officially joined Dreamville in 2015 and appeared on Revenge of the Dreamers II’s “Backseat” with label-mate Cozz. She released her debut EP Pho the following year and carved her own distinct lane, as the nostalgic project showcased her wall-shaking vocals and confident sexuality. Last year, she released five sultry singles, including the smooth yet powerful “Whipped Cream” and the hazy “Grampa,” and appeared on the Creed II soundtrack with Cole on “Shea Butter Baby.”