On April 8, Queen Naija released a new single, “Set Him Up”, featuring soul singer Ari Lennox. This song is a great addition to Queen Naija’s repertoire and sets a great tone for her upcoming deluxe album, ‘missunderstood…still’.
The song is the first original single from ‘missunderstood…still’, set to be released next Friday. Both Naija and Lennox, though relatively new in the R&B/Soul world, have already left a mark. Both Lennox and Naija have had gold and platinum releases, with Lennox helping Dreamville’s ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ get a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.
From the minute they announced the track via Instagram, expectations were through the roof. Fans were buzzing about “Set Him Up” for the entire week up until its release, which got both the song and Queen Naija trending on Twitter. Two upcoming artists collaborating on the same track? What could be better? I also had high hopes for this single, considering how much I liked Queen Naija’s previous singles and her debut album ‘missunderstood’.
However, as we entered the day of release, my hope, and my patience, grew thin. Both Queen Naija and Ari Lennox barely acknowledged the song on any of their social media platforms. Then, when the clock struck twelve, there was still no release. Though they spent a week hyping up the release, Queen Naija and her management posted pictures and quotes on Instagram and Twitter as if “Set Him Up” didn’t exist. Ari Lennox was also silent when fans asked after the single.
Queen Naija finally explained that the song was held back because the video needed to be approved by Ari Lennox’s team. Lennox’s cousin unexpectedly died in a car accident in the leadup to the single’s release, so “Set Him Up” temporarily went on the back burner. This definitely clears things up, but I think they could have done a better job of letting people know the release was going to be a bit delayed ahead of time.
But the wait was worth it. From first listen, I knew Queen Naija and Ari Lennox had a hit on their hands. The song has the vibe as Usher’s “Same Girl”, but now told from a woman’s perspective. The song is a mid-tempo horn and guitar-heavy track, giving an old school feel smoothed out on a modern tip.
The highlights of the song are the second verse and the bridge leading to the ending of the song. The harmonies and the production of the track are on par with the grandeur style that Naija and Lennox previously shown in past releases. The song is a great intro to the era of Queen Naija’s deluxe. Hopefully, this level of quality will be available in the rest of the deluxe’s new songs.
“Set Him Up” is an amazing track on par with the best of Naija and Lennox’s previous trailblazing hits. My excitement for Queen Naija’s deluxe has increased tenfold, as has my excitement for any upcoming projects from Ari Lennox.