Music

Kehlani: Undercover

Kehlani tells it like it is. Whether in conversation or on stage, the Oakland-born R&B singer and songwriter gives the straight truth about her life, pain, passion, love, triumph, and everything in between with collected calm and confidence. It’s that type of honesty that makes her music resonate with the depth of classic Motown and a vividly confessional lyricism reminiscent of Neo Soul. At the same time, her 2015 mixtape, You Should Be Here, tells a story that distinctly belongs to her. It all starts on the East Bay… Born a unique blend of ethnicities including African American, Caucasian, Native American, Spanish, and Filipino Native American Kehlani will casually tell you, “You’re lucky if you make it out of Oakland.” However, in her case, talent usurped luck.

Kehlani: Undercover

Months after her birth, Kehlani lost her father, never properly meeting him. Mired in drug addiction, her mom shuffled her to an aunt. She initially found solace in dance—ballet in particular—but a knee injury sidelined her what might’ve been a budding career as ballerina. “That’s when I started singing,” she recalls. “When I was living with my aunt, she played me all of these powerful women and love songs. It was that Neo Soul-R&B, and I couldn’t get enough of it. It felt right to sing from the moment I began.” In eighth grade, she became a member of the group Poplyfe produced by D’wayne Wiggins ofTony! Toni! Toné! fame.

Kehlani: Undercover

With Kehlani front and center, Poplyfe ended up becoming a finalist on America’s Got Talent—even performing with her idol Stevie Wonder during the final round. They didn’t win the competition, but she made an invaluable ally in Nick Cannon. A few industry pitfalls and detours derailed her musical momentum for six months until she decided to pick up the mic again. Without a home, she moved from couch to couch until Cannon got back in touch wanting to help however he could. Kehlani wanted one thing: studio time.

Kehlani: Undercover

Kehlani: Undercover Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
You know they don’t wanna see us together
But it don’t matter, no, ’cause I got you
Anytime you’re under the weather
Babe we can always go
If I gotta pull up on you, on the east side
In the late night, in a disguise
You know I could pull up on you, keep you all night
We could stay right, on the safe side

[Chorus]
One way or another
I’ma love you
Slidin’ under covers, undercover
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
One way or another
I’ma love you
Slidin’ under covers, undercover
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”

[Verse 2]
Baby they don’t wanna see me be happy
‘Cause they ain’t happy, no
They don’t got you
Somethin’ ’bout the way we be acting
Babe we are magical
Might just have to hit me up, on the late night
When it’s game time, I don’t play nice
I need you to hit me up, on my fake line
Hit that 6-9, yeah, that FaceTime

[Chorus]
One way or another
I’ma love you
Slidin’ under covers, undercover
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
One way or another
I’ma love you
Slidin’ under covers, undercover
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”

[Verse 3]
I’ma save your name under somethin’ else
I’ma keep your things deep in myself
I’ma tweet our inside jokes to the outside world
Forget you, go away
I’ma pick you up from the back in trains
Kept you in the world when it’s all pretend
You’re just you, I’m just me
There’s no us, it’s nothin’

[Chorus]
One way or another
I’ma love you
Slidin’ under covers, undercover
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
One way or another
I’ma love you
Slidin’ under covers, undercover
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”
They don’t wanna see it happen
But we say, “Fuck it”

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