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ARDN's Hits: Are U Kidding, Runner Up Plain Jane, Man Down, Paper, Till Morning & Others

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

ARDN is a singer and songwriter of Burundian descent, was raised in Canada but born in South Africa. He entered the hip-hop scene at the age of 16 with great intensity, carving out his own unique path. ARDN captivates his audience through his storytelling abilities and melodic flow.

His given name, ARDN, holds the meaning of "bronze" in Hebrew, which he finds intriguing as it symbolizes a significant technological shift in ancient history. He aspires for his music, just like the Bronze Age, to be revolutionary and have a profound impact.

Being a first-generation immigrant, ARDN's music reflects his personal experiences and draws parallels to them. He draws inspiration from artists like J. Cole, Smino, and Anderson .Paak, considering himself a student of his craft. Authenticity is at the core of his artistry, and he creates music that resonates with those who have been overlooked.

Back in 2018, he released a seven-track album titled "Goodwill", featuring songs like "Luv 2 Reason", "Nobody", "Long Live Goodwill'", "Sinister", "Collateral Damage Interlude", "Stainless $teel'", and "Oxygen Tank Lyrics". ARDN describes his music as 'genreless', as it encompasses elements of RnB, rap, and hip-hop, making it difficult to categorize. However, one thing is certain: when you listen to his tracks, you can expect smooth, effortless, and groovy sounds that will keep you hitting the repeat button all day long.

In making the song 'Sinister', he samples the 1959 master piece 'Strange Fruit' a controversial protest anthem sang by Billie Holiday. The song goes like this- Yeah / Don't assassinate my character / Presidential flow, like I'm Captain America / Long ways to go to my prime / Like a minister / Writing is my signature / Performing is my finisher uh / Bautista bombing / Barista pouring you coffee / You sleeping on me in coffins / You decaffeinated / Decapitated my inner problems they evaporated / In fact I'm praying they lack revival / Relax, for my sake / Stay woke, and not sleep / I was broke, and not cheap / I was broken, not weak / And these blokes, never ride they own boats / But they boast / While they paste and copy / Thank Lord I'm not you / Thank Lord you not me uh .......

Verse 2......For real / Uh / My nappy head coats my brilliant mind / Our people tossed to the dirt / Man we lost in the time / We claim to be on fast forward / But we stuck on rewind / They try to keep us in the past like fanny packs and fans of / Billy Ray Cyrus, look in my iris / Really tell me what do you see / A nigga with a virus or reflections of greed / I live amongst the giants / And carry my sling and choppa / Bounce back like big Sean and ping and pong / Fly high like Big Bird and Cheech and Chong / Let bygones be bygones, I right wrongs / Swerve obstacles like drive-bys / No pylon, gon' stop me from piling on uh / If God wills that, "Goodwill", is taking over / I got tricks like hoodwinked / Up in my clothing / A skinny teen with skinny jeans / But best believe / The pockets fat on my scene / No skinny dreams

His fans find it difficult to categorize his music as it does not fit into a specific genre. Nevertheless, he captivates listeners, offering a seamless blend of retraint, effortless, and groovy sounds that will leave you wanting to listen on repeat throughout the day.

After the release "Goodwill", the artist found himself in a challenging situation. He was uncertain about whether to continue his education or solely focus on creating music. Although ARDN had a strong desire to pursue a career in music, he struggled with finding a balance between his various commitments. This dilemma inspired him to use a metaphor for the title of his next album - "Alien." The album, consisting of eight tracks including "Downlow", "Wavin'", "Wrong Foot'", "Lion's Den", "BFTF", "Real Talk", "Alien", "Booby Trap'", and "Sick & Tired", happens to be the artist's personal favorite.

"Wavin," remains among his most streamed single to date, with over four million streams on Spotify alone. This track showcases ARDN's signature melodic lyrical style, although his mixing style was heavier during that time. In his more recent music, he has embraced his natural voice, reducing the use of autotune and heavy tuning in favor of high-quality mixing and a purer sound.

In this album, ARDN skillfully combines more traditional beats with a melodic and lyrical voice, resulting in a memorable and profound musical experience. Real Talk, produced by Sahara goes like this-Chorus....Real talk / I just spit that real talk / Since the crib like realtor / I just let bills talk yeah / I won't wilter / That ain't in the picture / You should check your filter / Maybe it's the pills talking ay / Real talk / I just spit that real talk / Since the crib like realtor / I just let bills talk yeah / I won't wilter / That ain't in the picture / You should check your filter / Maybe it's the pills talking ay

Verse 1.....Ay/ Look uh / This my path to pave / I want all the smoke in fact about a pack a day / I'll keep intact for days uh / Face the alter ay / Bow your heads and put your hands together / Altercating made too many pass away Lord / Rest in power ay / I'll devour everything appearing not the case / Niggas counterfeit uh / 'Bout to count to three / Either with us or against us / I suggest you count your blessings / That's my ultimatum / This that

Verse 2......Look / Look uh / What's your decision opposition? / Come to your senses I insist it / Out of this world / I'm off the grid this the gist / What's a jester to a kingdom? / We ain't had a pot to piss in / Odds against us / Hard to be so optimistic, altruistic / Awfully gifted socks on Christmas / Frankly common sense / I'm hot as frankincense / Set my mind on the Franklin / Took the game and I strangle it / All my chains they be dangling / Most days I'm not having it / 'Member pops they gon' give me props and applause / If a nigga half of him / Aphrodite for the aforementioned / I won't throw the towel like a javelin / Cost a lot to make it uh / Alien ARDN I'm coming in peace like as-salamu alaykum uh / Paleontology pay me the bones like fossil I'm a caveman uh / The first to set the flame ain't reverse / Accelerate uh / Want the fortune not the fame uh / I Ball like CP3 until I cop the bag that's that Rich Paul / Mama told me son lead by example I was well taught / Started rapping escaped from all distractions this that real talk / Real Talk

Sick & Tired, produced by Flowers of Narnia, Verse 1 starts like this......I'm so sick and tired / This my second time / We done made too many sacrifices / In this life to keep on settling down / (Down) / Keep on heckling now / (Now) / Feel my settings changing / I just made my ears soundproof / Need no hand me downs / I pray to God I help when I am not around / I beg your pardon / Swear that they gon' come around / Just a matter of time / Ay / It's just a matter of time..........Chorus & Post Chorus

Verse 2......To go back back to the motto / Bringing in stacks by the boatload / Been in my bag since an innocent / Kangaroo Jack niggas jacking my mojo / Go back to the days we were better / Go back to a place of a Metta / Met her thinking it was meant to be / Now a nigga thinking he was set up / Damn look / Niggas wanna tag it up / But I'm staying dolo 'til I hang it up / Even if I fell back I'd be still lapping / I don't feel bad niggas still capping / Never been indicted / But I'm villain minded / May these songs live long / Near sighted not the way we do it here / Fear fight it / Almighty God taking cover for me / Real talk if we get into it listen / I don't need no interventions shorty / I know this only a figment / I don't got time for this dismissed / Pulling a fast one on me / What's your intention? / How could you pass up on me?

The album is a fusion of various styles, creating something unique and exhilarating. The artist's unique flows and rhythms significantly contribute to the depth and richness of each track.

The year 2020 concluded with a collaboration titled "Paranoid" (released May 15, 2020) featuring artist Zeleke, which offered a refreshing departure from ARDN's usual style at the time, with a more radio-friendly track featuring a catchy hook.

Then, in 2021, he released two singles, "Goals" (produced by D'Artizt & Tyler Bandit) and "Grammy", which demonstrated the increasing quality and depth of his music. His laidback take, confidence, and control in revealing his lyrics became more evident during this period, solidifying his artistic style.

He raps in "Goals"-You not on brand with my goals and I know it / I'm moving fast and then you gotta slow it / I'm word to NASA but you gotta lower it / What's the use of assassin if I cannot show it? / You got a plan in with me then the planets must be / Of a similar roots and the soil / I'm not gon' bother with you 'cause the last thing I do / Make a sorry excuse of the boy / Don't you know ARDN is used to the toil? / Don't you know all of us really just loyal? / We had to come up and find our own way around / There's nothing you'd do to dеstroy / Already planned and I'm thanking the Lord / Donе in advance so I couldn't avoid / We came a long way but still in a voyage / This ain't no accident part of the ploy yeah / You niggas getting predictable I know what you finna say / Now my predicament move with the decimal used to be minimum wage / Calm down lil' shawty you ten in the body but you like a six in your ways / I never gave them a reason to doubt me and that's gon' be down to my grave / Squad full of killers we one in the same / God be the glory I'm praising his name.............

Watching my every movement something like Truman I ain't the one to be tamed / I don't think you wanna do this listen the truth is ain't nothing sweet, insulin / Wondering why you ain't been elevating but you ain't get rid of the snakes on the plane / I just need some niggas in my life who roll with me on my life goals / 1991 way I do it with my eyes closed / Fifteen lil' minutes of fame, save your fifteen like it's Geico / 'Cause you gon' lose it homie, shawty pull through specifically for me / I never move submissive, shoot efficient, blue pacific on me / I got a mission I'm on ain't listen to one of them niggas that misinformed me / World in my palm like Mrs. Uni / I was in uni like this ain't for me / This is a movement nah this ain't a moment uh / Movement nah this ain't a moment

This composition exudes an uplifting and motivational vibe, as the artist confronts various distractions that compel him to make difficult choices. Additionally, he expresses a willingness to connect with other determined artists who share his passion and are on a similar path. His unwavering confidence shines through as he sets his sights on achieving success through dedicated efforts in pursuing his true passion: music.

"Grammy", produced Rhys (Producer), Akxen & Greg Sekeres, he sings, Aw yeah / Look I don't care about no grammy if my family don't get rich yo / I'ma keep it candid on the brick road 'til wrist on froze / I'ma take it all as far as risks go / Even if it stress me 'til I'm chiskop, the chips gon' fall / Man I really hope these niggas let a kid grow / And I tried to tell them it ain't over 'til the whistle blow / Uh, I got the sick flow schizophrenic / Can't defend it man you niggas so abysmal but it's all good / Uh look, and for a minute know it's been smoke but it's all love / Uh I know the feeling I was down and out my nigga felt like this close to quit yo / All about the timing like a quick scope uh / My cousin called me told me he ain't trying to live slow / So we deposit bands like we panic at the disco / Can't imagine standing for nothing so what you live for? / Yeah, I can't imagine standing for nothing so what you live for? / I'm damaged I've been handling trauma since mama's flip phone / Now I got my hands on some commas look I was dead broke...

There are a few aspects of this piece that I particularly appreciate. Firstly, the artist made references that evoked nostalgic memories for me. One such reference was to the well-known band Panic at the Disco, an American pop rock group hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada. Secondly, the artist cleverly mentioned being caught in a difficult situation, "I was 'tween a rock and a hard place like Flintstone's show", likening it to the predicaments faced by the characters in the popular animated show, The Flintstones. The Flintstones depicted the lives of a stone age family, with Fred Flintstone working in a quarry and returning home to his wife Wilma and daughter Pebbles. Lastly, the artist's lyrics include the line "I'm damaged, I've been handling trauma since mama's flip phone," which effectively conveys a sense of personal struggle. It is worth noting that the first flip phone was invented back in 1996, adding a historical context to the artist's words.

His relaxed, confidence, and control in delivering his lyrics became more evident during this period, solidifying his artistic style. The year 2022 marked a rise in consistency with the releases of 'Aristotle', 'Til The Morning', 'Jupiter & Mars', 'Paper', and 'Ain't Reason'.

These hits further established ARDN's position in the music industry, showcasing flawless production, mixing, and expulsion without missing a beat. His unique sound mix continues to evolve and impress with each new release, displaying growth and refinement.

The admiration for his sound, which has only improved and become more distinct over time, is evident. Anticipation for the future of ARDN's career is high, with hopes for a full-length album or another significant collaboration. Regardless, being a part of his journey moving forward is an exciting prospect. He got his big break when a snippet of “Til The Morning”,(produced by Tee-WaTT + written by Tee-WaTT & Ardon Nsengiyumvawent) viral on TikTok in 2022. Since then, he has garnered more than ten million TikTok views and sound tracked over 240,000 times.

ARDN once again impresses with his latest single, "Jupiter & Mars," giving an exceptional performance. His vibe is effortless and his melodies are consistently outstanding. This follows his previous single, "Til The Morning," which was also remarkable in its own right.

ARDN's poetic depth on this track is particularly noteworthy, showcasing his prowess as one of the city's top lyricists. His attitude is distinct, incorporating elements from traditional rap but presenting them in a fresh and enhanced manner. The incorporation of beautiful harmonies and rhythm adds to the melodic approach, complemented by a fantastic flow.

The cadence, especially during hooks and ad-libs, is catchy and addictive. "Jupiter & Mars" creates a captivating atmosphere with its cinematic instrumental and well-crafted beat, flawlessly mixed and produced by Rhyz. From start to finish, the total experience of the song piqued the listener's interest from the very first listen.

A hint of celestial vibe can be heard in Ardn's song "Jupiter & Mars." Given Ardn's lamentations about a woman who never truly loved him, the song may appear to be gloomy, but RHYZ's production's angelic violins give it a more optimistic sci-fi feel. The plot of "Jupiter & Mars" unfolds linearly, with Ardn gradually coming to terms with the fact that he is happier on his own.

“That one (Jupiter & Mars) is inspired by a girl I was seeing, and it didn’t really turn out the way I wanted it to, and I channeled all of my emotions and put it into that. I would say that I’m proud of the writing of that song,” he explained, “The song comes in on a falsetto and I don’t really do that in my songs. Then it drops down and goes into rap. It’s so dynamic, and it keeps the listeners engaged.”

His next single, "Paper", released June, 24, 2022, was written by Tyler Bandit, Mardi Woya and Ardon Nsengiyumva . This song appears to center around the pursuit of financial success and the determination to achieve personal goals. It conveys a strong drive to overcome obstacles in order to attain wealth and improve one's life.

The lyrics mention a woman who may be facing personal challenges but chooses to keep them private. The narrator encourages her to remain quiet and support their shared plan to accumulate wealth, using the phrase "pipe it down." The chorus emphasizes the desire to make money and amass riches as a team. The repetition of "me and my baby" suggests a partnership focused on financial growth and the aspiration to build a secure future together.

In the course of this year, ARDN released the song "Man Down" as part of the Madden NFL 24 Soundtrack (2023), a 36-track album that showcases a range of artists. This annual soundtrack from EA SPORTS Madden NFL is not just about honoring rap legends, but also about introducing breakthrough artists and shaping the future of Hip-Hop. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Madden NFL 24's soundtrack truly embodies the strength, diversity, and celebration of Hip-Hop and Urban music like never before.

The full Madden NFL 24 album features an impressive lineup of thirty-six tracks, including songs by Jack Harlow, Wiz Khalifa, Armani White featuring A$AP Ferg, Marshmello featuring Polo G & Southside, and two contributions from Ghanaian rapper Blackway. The soundtrack list also highlights exciting emerging artists like San Antonio rapper Mike Dimes featuring Joey Bada$$, Toby Nwigwe, Toosii, EST Gee, BIA, Chika, Kimbra, and includes two previously unreleased songs by Doechii.

To celebrate signing with Capitol Records, he released his first single, "Plain Jane," which showcases his smooth flow and personal lyrics that have made him a respected and popular rap artist. Produced by Tyler Bandit and written by ARDN, Jordan Friesen with Mardi Woya, the song serves as a preview of his upcoming EP, The Bronze Age, and also highlights his determination and dedication to succeed in the industry (“I came here to make a killing and I do it broad day”). With its catchy chorus “Plain Jane Plain Jane / N***** ain't nothing but the same thing / Sun went down and the rain came / But I maintained gotta maintain / ", guitar line, and horns, the single has already gained significant attention, accumulating over 285,000 streams on Spotify and over 69,000 views on its music video since its release -March 8th.

"Runner Up", released April 7, 2023, produced by Tyler Bandit, is a passionate and bold comeback that places the artist's desires front and center. With its highly memorable and infectious quality, the song showcases ARDN's ability to raise the standard yet again.

The song captures the essence of the artist's appeal, combining a seamless and polished rhythm with honest and personal lyrics. This combination has contributed to the artist's rise in popularity and earned them respect within the rap industry.

The song "Are U Kidding" is the third track from ARDN's debut EP, titled The Bronze Age, set to be released through Capitol Records/Motown Records UK. It serves as a reflection of ARDN's unwavering drive to achieve success and offers his perspective on his current life experiences.

Despite the challenges he has encountered in the past, he describes these moments as surreal and almost unbelievable, hence the phrase "Pinch me moments." The chorus repeatedly asks, "Are you kidding?" to highlight his amazement towards those who looked down on him. Additionally, a Chicagoan rapper-femdot contributes a complementary verse that explores the experience of defying odds.

[Intro: ARDN]

Alright, I got it, hm

[Hook: ARDN]

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'?

Late night drive and the windows all tinted

Look around, it's survival of the fittest

Where the canines lie deep inside, it's within me

You ever seen a black boy fly?

Slam dunk, break the backboard glass courtside

Let the story unfold, niggas really just beginnin' (Ayy)

How you took me for a joke? (Ayy)

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'?

[Verse 1: ARDN]

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'?

The realest in demand, yeah, that's scarce in the city

Shot caller like the mayor but it's Eric do the bidding

Pop bottles еverywhere

You won't darе catch me slippin', tread carefully

Nigga, I'm the heir to the kingdom force

Like a AR-15 and I air it through the building

A target on my back but my head's in the clouds

And a star on my chest like the sherrif of the city like, "Yeesh"

I just been preparin' for the winter

No Ferris Bueller days off, keep the ferris wheel spinnin'

Momma said, "Son, I want an eight car garage and a big backyard where the square footing’s plenty”

Crops stand tall, need a scarecrow to tend it

These moments pass by, need to cherish what I'm livin'

Keep my spirit in alignment, it's prayers that I'm livin'

I been lookin' in the mirror, it ain't fair for you niggas like, "Yeesh"

[Hook: ARDN & Femdot.]

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'?

Late night drive and the windows all tinted

Look around, it's survival of the fittest

Where the canines lie deep inside, it's within me

You ever seen a black boy fly?

Slam dunk, break the backboard glass courtside

Let the story unfold, niggas really just beginnin'

How you took me for a joke? (Uh)

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'?

[Verse 2: Femdot.]

Y'all don't live the life y'all written

Y'all be lyin' 'bout omissions

Said we had to make decisions and we grew up penny pinchin'

Dreams of wishin' on a star, tryna be a star

Now I run things so much, it got me breathin' hard

'Course I'ma need it all

Look in my X-ray and see a dog

Raised by cats who got coke and they visa off

I don't be believin' y'all, tryna buy my mom a house

All y'all shit Oscar, Grouch, that shit (Garbage)

B-M-dub all up in my (Garage)

Your BM, I dubbeed that

Players gon' play, 3L dub that

'Course I hit off GP, where my glove at?

MC Ham, can't get touched, you get love-tapped

'Cause the people love Dilla, and that's a lot to say

'Cause the place where I'm from don't love niggas

We knew drug dealers

Niggas who got drugs and slugs in 'em, the blood thicker

Make sure they get dollars as soon as I'm touchin' 'em, huh?

[Hook: ARDN & Femdot.]

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'? (Dilla)

Late night drive and the windows all tinted (Hm)

Look around, it's survival of the fittest

Where the canines lie deep inside, it's within me

You ever seen a black boy fly?

Slam dunk, break the backboard glass courtside

Let the story unfold, niggas really just beginnin'

How you took me for a joke?

Are you kiddin'? Are you kiddin'?



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