Going on tour is usually one of the highlights of an artist's career. Many entertainers use touring as an opportunity to connect with fans and showcase their art while expanding their brand. Sadly, this wasn't the experience that Ari Lennox had when she went on tour with Rod Wave in late 2023.
Throughout her career, Ari has been celebrated for her soulful voice and authentic talent. But the singer found herself at the center of controversy after a clip of a violent encounter surfaced online.
The incident triggered a deeper conversation on social media. Here is what went down.
What happened to Ari Lennox on Rod Wave's tour?
Throughout her career, Ari has been celebrated for her soulful voice and authentic talent.
Last year, she joined Rod Wave, Toosii, and others on a tour that promised an unforgettable musical experience for fans, but things took a drastic turn when a video surfaced online of that saw Ari getting hit by a water bottle.
During the exchange, Ari was visibly upset. She asked the sound engineer to stop the music and proceeded to tell the audience exactly how she felt about their behavior.
After the clip went viral, Ari went online to share her thoughts on the tour with the fans, and she did so in the most honest and vulnerable way. She described her experience as the "worst f--king tour" she's ever been on.
“It was so annoying because, like, you could be singing your a-- off and they just don’t give a s--t. They’re not there for you. They’re there for music that will never be like my music. They’re there for voices that’ll never be like my voice," she said in a since-deleted Instagram Live video (per The Shade Room.)
"And so, it just got old after a while. I’m giving you my soul, my vocals, and nothing was ever enough."
News of what happened to Ari spread like wildfire and sparked questions as to why the two artists were on tour together in the first place.
"Whoever thought it was a good idea to send Ari Lennox on tour with Rod Wave needs to get their a-- whooped," a Twitter user named @_sikwitit said on Twitter. "Those are two different audiences!"
Amid the controversy, Ari had a spat with Joe Budden, who pretty much said that she should have been grateful for the opportunity. The feedback did not go over well with fans on social media and it wasn't long before the "On It" singer clapped back and threatened a lawsuit.
The drama surrounding Ari's water bottle debacle will eventually die down because while her experience on the tour was unacceptable, it was also unsurprising.
On a broader scale, history proves that Black women are neither desired nor respected in certain spaces, and that was explicitly expressed by the audiences at Rod Wave's shows.
The reality is that many females in predominately male spaces have shared Ari's experience. From corporate boardrooms to creative niches, Black women often feel like their voices are dismissed and their experiences are challenged.
"I distinctly recall every performance, rushing to exit the stage, hurrying through my set," Ari said of her time on tour.
This narrative is a harsh reality for many Black women, like Ari, whose experiences are often ignored.
The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.