Label: Warner Records
Released: December 2020
CHIKA is an exceptional artist. FWB is her 3rd single since she dropped her extended play ‘INDUSTRY GAMES’ in March. My personal interest in her is as a poet.
We acknowledge that stylistic similarities often make it difficult to stand out in an ocean as vast as that of R&B. To my ear, the FWB chords are reminiscent of ‘I Want You Around’ by Snoh Aalegra, though to its own credit? The similarities end there. FWB is uniquely crafted and maintains its sense of self. It shows a sophisticated use of uncomplicated instrumentation and lyrical content that sets it firmly apart. The effortless pitching in the vocal and sweet/severe/sincere lyrics manage to encompass so many of the strange psychological elements of being a friend with benefits.
R&B is such a delicate art, requiring simplicity and depth at the same time, like the greatest novels. I personally can certainly understand the concept of friends with benefits, though I sometimes sigh at the glorification of it as an option. Sometimes it is simply all you’re afforded, and trying to own it doesn’t make it ok if you actually do want more but don’t think you’re worth more.
“This ain't nothin' special, I came for that act right
Got my spend the night bag, you know I always pack light
Ain't no strings attached, my n***a, fuck it, I'll be that type
Pull up inconspicuous make love like it's our last night,
Ain't no shame 'cause you got needs and so do I
I'm ironically on time, you platonically inside
And we'll forget this ever happened, unimportant by design
'Til you want another taste, give me the look, I know that sign.”
But I do not assume that to be the case here. I would venture to assume that CHIKA is happy with her arrangements. A poet of this magnitude may indeed as she states, be able and need, to feel without trust and not have her soul crowded.