Date: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023
Genre: R&B / Hip-Hop
Ravyn Lenae makes dreamy, atmospheric R&B with honey-sweet vocals and psychedelic-tinged production. She arrived during the latter half of the 2010s with a trio of EPs that touched on styles ranging from house to synth-funk, with 2018’s Crush and its lead single “Sticky” making the biggest splash. Hypnos, her long-in-the-making debut full-length, appeared in 2022, with Steve Lacy, Monte Booker, and Kaytranada among its producers.
Chicago-born Lenae made her debut as a teenager in 2015 with Moon Shoes, an EP produced by fellow Zero Fatigue member Monte Booker. Originally issued as a free download, it was picked up by major-label Atlantic for commercial release the following year. A shorter EP supported by Atlantic, Midnight Moonlight, followed in March 2017. By this point, Lenae had also racked up featured appearances on tracks headlined by Booker, Noname, Mick Jenkins, Saba, and Smino, among others. Remarkably, all this occurred while Lenae was attending Chicago High School for the Arts. “Sticky” was out by the end of 2017 and landed on Crush EP, issued early the following year with the Internet‘s Steve Lacy featured on two cuts. In 2020, she contributed “Rewind” to the fourth season of Insecure, and she guested on Luke Titus‘ album Plasma. Lenae’s first album, Hypnos, arrived in 2022, following the singer’s move to Los Angeles. In addition to regular collaborators such as Steve Lacy, Monte Booker, and Smino, the release’s co-writers, producers, and guests included Mereba, Fousheé, and Kaytranada.