Kehlani has never shied away from being open and personal in her music. She makes sure every lyric written, every tune sung, comes straight from the heart. "While We Wait" is her first project since her debut studio album "SweetSexySavage" and it is her most honest and expressive project to date. The album showcases her growth not only as an artist but as a woman as well.
Fans have been highly anticipating this mixtape for nearly two years, but the pay-off was worth it. "While We Wait" ingeniously incorporates the ’90s, ’00s, and contemporary R&B to blend into a singular sound that is completely organic to Kehlani. Touching on topics such as love, heartache, and self-assurance, Kehlani matures her playfully sassy attitude into confidence from a force to be reckoned with.
Footsteps (feat. Musiq Soulchild)
Kehlani sings, “Cheers to being honest/Neither of us knew what we wanted,” setting up the mood for "While We Wait," an album focused on her dysfunctional relationship. “Footsteps” serves as the reflective intro, assessing what caused the relationship to stop working. The song is fully equipped with nostalgic 90’s production over sounds of waves, bringing out the best in Kehlani’s raw vocals. After breakups, most of us are faced with emotions and despair. She doesn’t sulk but instead, voices her gratitude. Kehlani, mature in her standing, gives thanks to her partner for the time and lessons learned within the relationship. In an album that centers around an unhealthy relationship, Kehlani lets the listener know that her growth is what was the most important thing learned in the relationship.
Kehlani sings about the complexities that come with situationships on "Too Deep." The two are clearly not on the same page as she talks about communication issues and one-sided feelings. Kehlani's partner demands more than what she’s willing to give, as she’s not looking for a relationship with them. She knows that if they continue on the path they’re on, it is inevitable that they will hurt each other.
"Too Deep" is a smooth yet contagious song, reminiscent of a conversation with oneself. The beat goes hand-in-hand with Kehlani’s soulful, captivating voice, it’s the kind of song that’s almost impossible not to sing along to.
Nights Like This (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
Kehlani’s heartfelt emotions shine through on this track, utilizing her signature melodious voice to showcase a sentiment that’s true. In “Nights Like This,” Kehlani tells an unfortunate love story about still yearning for an ex-lover, despite having been hurt and misled in the relationship. The heartbreak and betrayal are amplified in the song’s music video, where Kehlani plays a scientist that repairs an android and begins to form a close bond with her, only for the android to later kill her and take over her body.
RPG (feat. 6LACK)
Kehlani’s cry for love is recognized on “RPG,” the centerpiece of While We Wait. The song’s lyrics locate the initial disconnect that spurred the conflict of the relationship between Kehlani and her partner, who is played by 6LACK. The dispute comes down to a difference in understanding of what it means to love another person. Kehlani doesn’t feel loved, while she tells her partner, their actions aren’t reassuring enough to show love. There is no reciprocation of affection. “RPG” represents a commonality in relationships where needs aren’t met, partners feel as if they need to overcompensate then end up draining themselves for one another. Kehlani shows us that love shouldn't be a task, but, love should be effortless.
The inspiration for Kehlani's “Love Language” came from one of the song's producers, Super Duper Brick, who learned to speak Portuguese to communicate with his girlfriend.
In “Love Language,” Kehlani sings about a partner that she feels an intense connection with, but who speaks a different language from her. She asks about his interests, trying to figure out all the things they can do together. Unable to stress just how much she wants to keep learning about this person, Kehlani makes it clear that “Love Language” is about devotion. The track features a sweet melody backed by a dancehall-esque beat, ending the project with a bang.