21 July 2020

"Entanglements" by August Alsina & Rick Ross (2020)

Kim and Kanye.  Beyoncé and Jay-Z.  Will and Jada.  These are the A-list (primarily) Black power couples in Hollywood at the moment.  And what makes these three relationships special is that they actually lasted.

Indeed I would venture to say that when you are an A-list power couple in Hollywood, divorce rumors probably began circulating even before you're married. Moreover there are likely people on both sides of these marriage who constantly try to break them up in some way, shape or form.  Indeed even as a write this post, one of the main headlines on Drudge Report is actually based on a Kanye West divorce rumor.  And Drudge isn't the type of site that usually features those types of articles.  Or another way of looking at it is that news about divorces and breakups get more views than that about happy, stable marriages.  And truth be told, even White celebrities marry and divorce with frequency.

A screenshot of the homepage of Drudge Report
on 21 July 2020, circa 18:00 GMT.

So of course it breaks my heart that Jada Pinkett-Smith recently admitted to cheating on Will Smith - or at least insinuating that she slept with another man.  And that man would someone who due to this news we can say is currently a B+ list R&B singer, August Alsina.

Now rumors of he and Jada Pinkett-Smith having an affair have been around for a hot minute, and August plainly insinuated such was true in early-2019.  However he simultaneously implied at that time that he did not have a relationship with her.

August Alsina on The Breakfast Club, during which
he revealed he slept with Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Then around the end of June 2020, August Alsina conducted an interview with The Breakfast Club.  During the session he publicly admitted to having an affair with Pinkett-Smith.  He also said that Will Smith gave his blessing to the illicit relationship.

Jada Pinkett-Smith quickly went on the defensive and denied the claims.  Then about two weeks ago, on a Facebook Watch series she co-stars on called Red Table Talk, she did in fact make the aforementioned admittance.

Jada Pinkett-Smith admits to Will Smith - and the world - that
she "got into an entanglement with August" Alsina.
Now it has been noted that said episode of Red Table Talk apparently set a Facebook viewership record.  And some people are also under impression that whole exchange between Jada and Will was basically a shtick, i.e. a publicity stunt.  Indeed anyone who is familiar with this couple already knows that they are in an "open marriage" - or something like that.  But I mean the look on Will's face as shown below - if that image is truly from the aforementioned episode on Red Table Talk as MTO implies - doesn't look like a shtick.  But I haven't watch it myself, nor do I intend to...

That looks like real emotion right there, not no reality TV acting.
...because I didn't write this article to talk about their relationship per se.  Rather August Alsina dropped a song entitled Entanglements alongside Rick Ross on 19 July 2020.  And now you kinda have to question his whole motive for finally admitting to his relationship with Jada Pinkett-Smith in the first place.

You see the actual purpose of the aforementioned The Breakfast Club interview was for August to promote an album he dropped last month entitled The Product III: State of Emergency.  So let's just say he chose a pretty-opportune time to confirm that not only did he sleep with Jada (i.e. old news) but additionally that Will was down with the whole idea.

The cover of August Alsina's latest album, The Product III:
State of Emergency
The album itself came out on 26 June 2020.  And even as of the writing of this post - approximately a month after the album's release / August making those statements and a couple of weeks after Jada dropped a bomb on Will - that album has still only managed to peak at number 48 on the Billboard 200.  And I'm not minimizing how a great a feat it is to make it onto that highly-coveted list in the first place.  But you would think that considering that the Jada Pinkett / August Alsina affair is perhaps the hottest news in African-American entertainment at the moment, it would be performing better.

So now, as stated earlier, August has dropped another track, which isn't actually featured on the album itself.  It is not totally uncommon for artists to release tunes which such frequency these days.  But then he named the song Entanglements, which is the same word Jada Pinkett used to describe their relationship when she confessed it to Will.  So lyric-wise, I think you already know where this is going.

Now when Jada Smith used the word "entanglement", of course it is a very-ambiguous, borderline-comedic term to describe an affair.  And you can say that one word was the part of her discussion with Will Smith that stood out the most.  So just by naming the song in such a manner August Alsina was going to generate major headlines with this track, which he did.  Or another way of looking at the situation is that he is making the most out of sleeping with someone who is more-popular than himself.

So the chorus features him defining "entanglement", i.e. Pinkett-Smith's statement, as being "tangled in them sheets" and "tangled up with" the narrator himself.  So let's say Jada's aforementioned ambiguity has been thrown out the window.

Then during his solo verse, Rick Ross comes off as if to imply he himself was in a relationship with Jada Pinkett-Smith.  He drops a number of innuendos in that regard, which I won't elaborate on here but are highlighted on the song's Genius page.  So basically you can say he is rapping from the perspective of August Alsina.

And I guess it can also be said that outside of actually namedropping Jada, August himself holds nothing back.  You know how hip-hop/R&B artists are these days, especially when it comes to sex.  And it is possible, as is somewhat common with romance tunes, that the lyrics are a composite of his relationship with more than just one woman.

But that being said, the way the storyline reads is that he is screwing an older, married lady.  And basically he has her sprung, with complete access to her life and by extension that of her husband's, because she 'needs him in her life'.

Also, of course he depicts himself as banging the damn out of her.  Moreover he understands that the whole scenario "is wrong".  But at the same time he has apparently developed feelings for her also - or at least a strong sexual attraction/dependency.  So putting aside the backstory behind Entanglements, the simplest way to classify the track is as a sex song.  And you can't possibly imagine Will Smith feeling good about the lyrics featured therein.


The production team behind this song consists of OG Parker, Tee Romano, Cardiak, The Exclusives and Xeryus Gittens.

The Exclusives (Sean McMillion and Ralph Jeanty) also co-wrote the song with Derrick Milano, Source Jarrett and the two vocalists.

The label that put Entanglements out is called Shake The World.  It is one that was actually founded by August Alsina himself.

Rick Ross and August Alsina have worked on a few tracks together in the past, including a Rozay headliner from 2015 entitled She Wanna F*ck (without the asterisk).  Honestly I don't remember hearing any of August's tracks before.  But as for Da Boss, I jammed to his album Rather You Than Me (2017) for like a solid month.


So the way Jada Pinkett-Smith rationalized the affair is that it led to her experiencing sensations which she hasn't had "in years".  But again, she is known for being in an open marriage, and Will himself sometimes does crazy things like kissing dudes on national TV.  However it does not look like even this recent bombshell revelation is enough to destroy the marriage with the woman he loves.

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