Ari Lennox Calls J. Cole, Missy Elliott Her Mentors At iHeart Living Black!

J. Cole, Ari Lennox and Missy Elliott

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Ari Lennox is one of the top rising R&B acts in the game right now. After all the success she's had recently, the "Shea Butter Baby" singer is giving flowers to those who have mentored her throughout her career.

On Wednesday, February 23, Lennox's label boss J. Cole honored her and her label mate, Bas, as this year's AT&T Dream in Black Future Makers during a candid discussion at iHeart's Living Black! Empowered by AT&T. During their chat, Cole asks both of them about their experiences with being mentored in the music industry during their come-up. Bas reflected on how his brother, DJ Moma, influenced him at the beginning of his career. Then, Ari replied by revealing the multiple people who she felt mentored her.

"Throughout my life there were women that I was really inspired by from my Grandma Mills to my Grandma Blanche," Lennox explained. "I would even say Missy Elliott. I don't know how this is real life, but she helps me as a friend, mentally. Cole, I would say that you have also mentored me in a way. I don't even know if you even realize like you've actually made me a better live singer."

J. Cole also saluted both artists and credited them for building major platforms for themselves. The enlightening conversation comes shortly after Lennox decided not to do any more interviews for awhile. Lennox had previously agreed to do an interview with the South African-based show Podcast and Chill, but ended up regretting it after the host asked an inappropriate question while speaking about her song “Pop.” In response to a fan who mentioned the awkward episode, Lennox said her appearance on the show was the last straw.

“Shut up! The interview was the icing on the cake," Lennox responded. "I want to be free.”

Even though her newest interview was with her label boss, it's good to know Lennox appreciates the Dreamville founder and vis-versa. Make sure to catch sure to catch iHeart's Living Black! Empowered by AT&T streaming online until March.

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