In March, 22-year-old R&B singer Kehlani posted a photo on Instagram of her lying in a hospital bed, her right arm hooked up to a drip, recovering from a suicide attempt. After becoming the focus of online gossip around her relationships with Partynextdoor and NBA player Kyrie Irving, she wrote she wanted “to leave this earth”.
’24/7′, her first new song since her hospitalisation, makes it clear that she’s not going to hide away from what she experienced, nor should it leave her open to criticism or being treated differently. “It’s okay to not be okay/To dive in your pain,” she opens over warped, skittering pop beats from producer DZL. Later, she reasons “I don’t know nobody who smiles at everybody 24/7” and admits “I have my nights when I’m not anxious to wake up/And feel any better”.
’24/7′ is a song that accepts not everyone in the world can be out spitting rainbows and butterflies all the time, and that’s okay. It’s a low-key anthem of strength for those times when things get too much; a friendly arm around your shoulder to let you know you’re not alone, that feeling blue is totally human and normal. “You’ve got to lose you just a little/Lose your cool just a little/I won’t judge you, not even a little,” she sings at one point. It’s an attitude everyone should adopt when it comes to helping others through tough times, championed through Kehlani’s sublimest moment yet.