R&B singer Kehlani and rapper Little Simz are forces of nature in their own rights: Kehlani’s recent string of music releases, including “Crazy,” “Distraction,” and “Gangster” for the Suicide Squad soundtrack, tackle love, self-care, and mental illness with deftness and bravado, the kind of songs that come from dark spaces but fights to transcend its origin. Meanwhile, British rapper Simz blends swagger with sincerity, and has released multiple albums about knowing your worth and getting your due.
Now, the two have teamed up together for “Table,” a total jam about knowing your worth — “what you bring to the table.”
Released by Kehlani as a teaser in the run-up to her next album, “Table” almost (key word, almost) has an “I’m not like other girls vibe,” which as we all know, can actually be kind of terrible. But there’s a tongue-in-cheek quality laced through Kehlani’s verses especially: “I’ll pick up your 3am call shit / Love and basketball chick / I move your car chick / Late night trip to Target”; she later jests, “Never at ya service, here for your worstest / Ha, don’t I sound perfect?” It’s because she knows what she can do that makes this song as triumphant as it sounds.
Simz picks up on this cue, rapping, “Don’t take my kindness for weakness / Steady dealing with madness,” delineating that behind whatever front she’s putting up, there’s so much more going on. But that shouldn’t, and doesn’t, hold her back from what she can do and, well, bring to the table.
Part of me wants to believe that Kehlani and Little Simz listened to Solange’s recent stunner of an album A Seat at the Table and wanted to riff off of that; just two women in the studio, taking this art and adapting it around their own styles and narratives. Whatever the case, “Table” is a total jam, and we’ll be keeping an ear out for new music from both of these boss women.