14 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I imagine if me and a stripper got married, we'd play this at our wedding reception,” SAINt JHN tells Apple Music. “And then at the wedding reception, and after the divorce, at the signing of the paperwork.” The Brooklyn-raised singer and MC is explaining the premise behind Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs, just his second project after 2018’s Collection One. Fans who’ve heard “Trap”—the first single from Ghetto Lenny’s, featuring Lil Baby—might be inclined to lump him in with an ever-evolving class of MCs using melody to convey the emotions they get from street life. But as the album reveals, “Trap” is just the tip of the iceberg: As he explains track by track below, SAINt JHN is merely a vessel for his experiences, be they street-inspired or otherwise. He doesn’t make music for any one audience, because his purview is too big for that. “Genre? That's muddy,” he says. “Who I'm talking to, how I'm talking to them? All of that is muddy. I make the music I want to make.”

“Wedding Day”
“I'm not sure anybody else might see their wedding day like this, but this is how I saw mine and it's in my language. It’s in my tongue, in the words that I've been given. So I'm giving it to you like that, and I'm glad that it relates. I guess I just have a couple of moments in my life that have intersected with other people's, and by a couple of them I mean a whole f**king lot.”

“Anything Can Happen”
“Meek was a no-brainer. We have such a good relationship that we just went in the studio in New York and we did it. I played that and a couple other ideas for Meek and he was just excited about it right away. I didn't tell him what to do or what direction he should go in, he’s just an artist. He was inspired, so he went off.”

“Trap”
“Lil Baby is incredible, and his experiences are similar to things that I've witnessed, things that I've been doing myself. So even if our styles were different, our truths were the same, and that made it easy. He believes in melody and he believed the language and he believed in telling his story. Those are all things that I believe in.”

“5 Thousand Singles”
“If you take every bit of music from this collection and listen to the words—read it like poetry or read it like a script—you understand exactly how well-built the language is. I speak using words and melody. Those are two separate languages. So if you get past the top language, the melody, and you only focused on the second one, you understand the really profound moments. I think melody disguises it, so you hear it a little bit more when you hear ‘5 Thousand Singles.’ The melody is out the way, you just hear me talking my s**t.”

“Who Do You Blame”
“I'm just talking to a girl, it's a conversation to me—'Love him for what?/F**k that, you leveling up.' Because I imagine there has to be, or there had to be, people that have felt this way about me. I'm sure I've hurt women before in the past, emotionally. You can't go through this planet not having affected people in a good way or sometimes in a negative way. This is an ode to that, or anybody that has ever gone through that.”

“94 Bentley”
“I grew up listening to JAY-Z and Roc-A-Fella. I remember Jay on the cover of those albums with that Bentley and I remember no matter what I had, that had to feel like that. I didn't have a car for years and years and years, so when I got my first car, it was a 1994 BMW. I got it in the late 2000s. You ain’t have money, we ain't had no new whips. You couldn't do that. But it was a foreign and it was a '94. So that '94 BM was my '94 Bentley.”

“I Can Fvcking Tell”
“All I'm ever trying to do when I walk into a studio is find something about myself that I love more than the last thing I found. I'm in my space. If you listen to the language of what I'm articulating or you just strip it down and look at the words, you'll get the poetry every time. Like, 'I don't believe in a wedding bell, I don't believe in laws/She don't believe in the fairy tales, she don't believe in God.' If you tie a rock around flowers or rose petals, people might misunderstand that based on the packaging. So all I do is tie the rose petals around the rocks. You still get the weight of it, but it's beautiful.”

“Borders”
“[Lenny Kravitz] is one of the realest people in the planet. He's one of the coolest people I've ever met. I come from an incredible lineage of people that raised me from a distance. And the impression that he left on this planet, on music, helped give me my legs—same thing for Jay, same thing for Beenie Man. It's hard to put it into words, because it felt like me and a family member, getting together at the picnic. But the picnic was in Paris, and the picnic table was made by Saint Laurent.”

“Call Me After You Hear This”
“I'm just trying to make s**t I love. I'm not trying to change the channel constantly. I'm not trying to be confusing. I'm not trying to be overly poetic. All I want to do is make the s**t that I want to listen to. You hear Ghetto Lenny's Love Songs and when I tell you it's like if me and a stripper got married, that’s the romantic picture I'm painting. Everything that happens within that world can't purely be romantic. Even when it's just romance, it has its own friction. I’m just doing what's true for me.”

“Trophies”
“When you hear ‘Trophies,’ it's observational. I'm saying, ‘We all want trophies.’ We all want something beautiful and majestic and magical, even when it's bad for us. So here's an unspecific woman on this course I'm talking about, and she wants trophies. But she don't even believe in herself. But she still want a trophy even if she don't believe she is one.”

“All I Want Is a Yacht”
“I'm ignorant as f**k. I don't hide it, I don't make no bones about it, I don't make any apologies about it. I just make sure I wear silk when I do it. 'All I Want Is a Yacht' is that. I'm not driven by money, but I am driven by moments. And the moment where you see me pull up on my yacht with a marble deck, you know I've done something. That's enough hope to feed a billion people. So all I want is a yacht because that's what we should all want. Not money, but that access.”

“Monica Lewinsky”
“A Boogie is a super cool dude. And we had a relationship. So I just made some calls, like, ‘Yo, Boogie, I need you on this record,’ and we went and did it in Vegas. I heard his voice and I let the music lead me.”

“High School Reunion”
“‘High School Reunion’ felt like I was going back [to high school], but I was going back with the blue mink on this time. When you listen to it, tell me it don't remind you of your high school prom but going back like, ‘I'm who I'm supposed to be.’ Everything I believe in has come true.”

“Cult4Ever”
"I'm the same guy in every scenario that you present to me, I just think the camera catches different angles. If I beat a n*gga up at night and I go hug my girl in the afternoon, it's not like I’m a different human. That morning he had a fight, this afternoon he was romantic. So 'Cult4Ever' is just me telling that story: 'I could love you like forever/You can be my n*gga until the day we both die.' And I say it in such a casual way, because that's what it feels like. If it's forever for me, it doesn't have to be overdramatized.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I imagine if me and a stripper got married, we'd play this at our wedding reception,” SAINt JHN tells Apple Music. “And then at the wedding reception, and after the divorce, at the signing of the paperwork.” The Brooklyn-raised singer and MC is explaining the premise behind Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs, just his second project after 2018’s Collection One. Fans who’ve heard “Trap”—the first single from Ghetto Lenny’s, featuring Lil Baby—might be inclined to lump him in with an ever-evolving class of MCs using melody to convey the emotions they get from street life. But as the album reveals, “Trap” is just the tip of the iceberg: As he explains track by track below, SAINt JHN is merely a vessel for his experiences, be they street-inspired or otherwise. He doesn’t make music for any one audience, because his purview is too big for that. “Genre? That's muddy,” he says. “Who I'm talking to, how I'm talking to them? All of that is muddy. I make the music I want to make.”

“Wedding Day”
“I'm not sure anybody else might see their wedding day like this, but this is how I saw mine and it's in my language. It’s in my tongue, in the words that I've been given. So I'm giving it to you like that, and I'm glad that it relates. I guess I just have a couple of moments in my life that have intersected with other people's, and by a couple of them I mean a whole f**king lot.”

“Anything Can Happen”
“Meek was a no-brainer. We have such a good relationship that we just went in the studio in New York and we did it. I played that and a couple other ideas for Meek and he was just excited about it right away. I didn't tell him what to do or what direction he should go in, he’s just an artist. He was inspired, so he went off.”

“Trap”
“Lil Baby is incredible, and his experiences are similar to things that I've witnessed, things that I've been doing myself. So even if our styles were different, our truths were the same, and that made it easy. He believes in melody and he believed the language and he believed in telling his story. Those are all things that I believe in.”

“5 Thousand Singles”
“If you take every bit of music from this collection and listen to the words—read it like poetry or read it like a script—you understand exactly how well-built the language is. I speak using words and melody. Those are two separate languages. So if you get past the top language, the melody, and you only focused on the second one, you understand the really profound moments. I think melody disguises it, so you hear it a little bit more when you hear ‘5 Thousand Singles.’ The melody is out the way, you just hear me talking my s**t.”

“Who Do You Blame”
“I'm just talking to a girl, it's a conversation to me—'Love him for what?/F**k that, you leveling up.' Because I imagine there has to be, or there had to be, people that have felt this way about me. I'm sure I've hurt women before in the past, emotionally. You can't go through this planet not having affected people in a good way or sometimes in a negative way. This is an ode to that, or anybody that has ever gone through that.”

“94 Bentley”
“I grew up listening to JAY-Z and Roc-A-Fella. I remember Jay on the cover of those albums with that Bentley and I remember no matter what I had, that had to feel like that. I didn't have a car for years and years and years, so when I got my first car, it was a 1994 BMW. I got it in the late 2000s. You ain’t have money, we ain't had no new whips. You couldn't do that. But it was a foreign and it was a '94. So that '94 BM was my '94 Bentley.”

“I Can Fvcking Tell”
“All I'm ever trying to do when I walk into a studio is find something about myself that I love more than the last thing I found. I'm in my space. If you listen to the language of what I'm articulating or you just strip it down and look at the words, you'll get the poetry every time. Like, 'I don't believe in a wedding bell, I don't believe in laws/She don't believe in the fairy tales, she don't believe in God.' If you tie a rock around flowers or rose petals, people might misunderstand that based on the packaging. So all I do is tie the rose petals around the rocks. You still get the weight of it, but it's beautiful.”

“Borders”
“[Lenny Kravitz] is one of the realest people in the planet. He's one of the coolest people I've ever met. I come from an incredible lineage of people that raised me from a distance. And the impression that he left on this planet, on music, helped give me my legs—same thing for Jay, same thing for Beenie Man. It's hard to put it into words, because it felt like me and a family member, getting together at the picnic. But the picnic was in Paris, and the picnic table was made by Saint Laurent.”

“Call Me After You Hear This”
“I'm just trying to make s**t I love. I'm not trying to change the channel constantly. I'm not trying to be confusing. I'm not trying to be overly poetic. All I want to do is make the s**t that I want to listen to. You hear Ghetto Lenny's Love Songs and when I tell you it's like if me and a stripper got married, that’s the romantic picture I'm painting. Everything that happens within that world can't purely be romantic. Even when it's just romance, it has its own friction. I’m just doing what's true for me.”

“Trophies”
“When you hear ‘Trophies,’ it's observational. I'm saying, ‘We all want trophies.’ We all want something beautiful and majestic and magical, even when it's bad for us. So here's an unspecific woman on this course I'm talking about, and she wants trophies. But she don't even believe in herself. But she still want a trophy even if she don't believe she is one.”

“All I Want Is a Yacht”
“I'm ignorant as f**k. I don't hide it, I don't make no bones about it, I don't make any apologies about it. I just make sure I wear silk when I do it. 'All I Want Is a Yacht' is that. I'm not driven by money, but I am driven by moments. And the moment where you see me pull up on my yacht with a marble deck, you know I've done something. That's enough hope to feed a billion people. So all I want is a yacht because that's what we should all want. Not money, but that access.”

“Monica Lewinsky”
“A Boogie is a super cool dude. And we had a relationship. So I just made some calls, like, ‘Yo, Boogie, I need you on this record,’ and we went and did it in Vegas. I heard his voice and I let the music lead me.”

“High School Reunion”
“‘High School Reunion’ felt like I was going back [to high school], but I was going back with the blue mink on this time. When you listen to it, tell me it don't remind you of your high school prom but going back like, ‘I'm who I'm supposed to be.’ Everything I believe in has come true.”

“Cult4Ever”
"I'm the same guy in every scenario that you present to me, I just think the camera catches different angles. If I beat a n*gga up at night and I go hug my girl in the afternoon, it's not like I’m a different human. That morning he had a fight, this afternoon he was romantic. So 'Cult4Ever' is just me telling that story: 'I could love you like forever/You can be my n*gga until the day we both die.' And I say it in such a casual way, because that's what it feels like. If it's forever for me, it doesn't have to be overdramatized.”

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