Born and raised in Oakland, Kehlani has worked hard to escape the gloom of an unfortunate childhood. At a very age, she expressed a love for the arts. Her solo career blossomed after linking with Nick Cannon and leaving the music group PopLyfe in 2013. Today, the 25-year-old mom of one is adorned in tattoos and piercings, yet the allure of her soulful vocals soften that seemingly, rough exterior. Kehlani personifies the phrase “concrete rose”. You can hear how performers such as Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Mariah Carey have influenced her sound. On social media, Kehlani expressed her self proclaimed mission to keep the R&B genre alive. It Was Good Until It Wasn’t skyrocketed to the number one spot on its release date of May 8th.
It Was Good Until It Wasn’t delves into Kehlani’s mind. In “Toxic” electronic bells accompany drum machine taps creating sensual peaks and valleys, while Kehlani sings of bitter-sweet relationships. The next track “Can I”, borrows a snippet of Aaliyah’s R&B classic “Come Over” for the chorus. Tory Lanez is right at home with it’s synthesized instruments and sexy tempo. Kehlani joins forces with fellow Cali girl Jhene Aiko on “Change Your Life”. The ladies elegantly harmonize while persuading an apprehensive man. “Belong To The Streets” contains audio of an interview covering the negative thoughts surrounding the songstress’ visible love life. Immediately ensuing is “Everybody Business”, an acoustic guitar lead ballad that addresses Kehlani’s feelings after hearing numerous rumors. She unapologetically declares immunity from the once hurtful comments and asks that people read through it all.
Generally speaking, Kehlani delivered an indisputably honest album. The compilation includes three skits and a host of collaborations. The tracks all bear a common message, to love hard and regret nothing. It Was Good Until It Wasn’t served as release therapy as she embarked on a journey of self-discovery and healing.