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Why Ari Lennox Almost Stuck With Her $10-an-Hour Job Over Meeting with J.Cole About a Record Deal

Ari Lennox is a successful female R&B artist, but in a recent interview with “The Breakfast Club,” she revealed she was once scared to quit her new job — the highest-paid job she had ever had — to pursue her music career.

The singer is signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, an imprint under Interscope Records, which is a unit of Universal Music Group.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: Ari Lennox performs at A Hot Summer Night In L.A at Arena on June 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Interscope)

However, she might have never got that opportunity if she had not quit her job working at Public Storage.

Lennox’s Dilemma

While working for Public Storage for $10 an hour, Ari Lennox would simultaneously upload music on SoundCloud.

When rapper Omen shared a song Lennox was featured in with J. Cole and Eve, Cole was impressed. The fateful track was called “Sweat it Out” off Omen’s album “Elephant Eyes.”

Since then, the singer has put out two albums of her own, and she has been compared with Erykah Badu.

But she was hesitant to take a risk on music at first.

“Yeah, I felt like ‘no. I’m not doing this. I’m not getting on this plane.’ I was scared of planes and then also just got this job. It was $10 an hour. To me, that was way more important than meeting J. Cole,” said the singer-songwriter said in a separate interview with Essence’s “Yes, Girl” podcast.

“And I always was getting fired and quitting jobs, so I was not going to ruin Public Storage, and I was excited about Public Storage because I knew eventually I could be one of those property manager people that had their own apartment on site. So I had these big dreams for Public Storage,” she added.

Making More than Minimum Wage

According to GQ, Lennox, whose real name is Courtney Shanade Salter, also worked at Wendy’s, Uber, and Planet Fitness, which she described in an interview as her favorite gig.

“Oh man. Probably Planet Fitness. That was the longest job I ever kept because it was so easy and breezy and I got to work out behind the desk. I came to work looking a hot mess every day. They didn’t care,” Lennox shared with GQ.

“The worst was Wendy’s. I remember cleaning the soda fountain and there was a whole bunch of roaches in there. That was terrifying. Actually, I worked at Public Storage, too. And Uber. Uber technically was the longest job, from age 24 to 26, but I temporarily quit every time someone threw up in my car,” Lennox added.

With two successful studio albums, “Shea Butter Baby” and “Age/Sex/Location,” and a net worth estimated between $2 million and $3 million, her sacrifice seems worth it.

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