Congratulations to y’all on the first installment of Womensday which I hope is as self explanatory as it sounds. OmG kEeP uP…it’s a post about female musicians…posted on Wednesdays. Simple. It’s probably fairly obvious that I already feature women on here 90% of the time but why not give them an additional day because women generally aren’t supported enough. Period (pun intended).
This series may end up evolving into a slightly different version of itself but for now I plan to give a list of women in a similar genre (which changes weekly) that are doing the damn thing. So to start off this segment let’s remember back to the late 90’s/early 00’s when we were all jamming to some of the sweetest female R&B our little ears could handle. I do admit that I lost touch with this genre since then but it recently resurfaced and I’m thrilled to see that the next generation of women are still bringing it hard.
For all you haters out there, it’s official, women are 100% capable of writing and singing their own lyrics in a contemporary R&B setting. The evidence? Kehlani’s accurately titled sophomore album You Should Be Here. What exactly are you doing if you aren’t listening to this album or looking up tickets to her next show? You should be there…doing that…now. Kehlani’s sexy yet introspective music has a few repetitive themes: Self-reflection, Self-confidence, and Positivity. She is the wing man you need at all times of the day reminding you to breathe and maybe dance a little while you pick yourself back up. This overwhelmingly joyful attitude is unfounded considering her father passing when she was young and her mother’s longstanding addiction to drugs. When no one was left to care for infant Kehlani, her Aunt bravely quit college and stepped into that role. Perhaps it was this generosity and self-less love that was passed onto Kehlani and which now shines through in her music. Kehlani, at the young age of 21, has not avoided all the drama and troubles that come with being in the public eye. Following a difficult public breakup and what we’ll just call “boy drama” she found herself in the hospital after what was rumored to be a suicide attempt. There was an immediate response from slut shaming assholes who (I guess) decided they are the relationship police and thus needed to call out Kehlani’s actions (aka bully her until she was emotionally and mentally broken). Mental health is so important and if her hospital stay was a cry for attention or help or whatever then we need to fucking give it to her. As someone who has had my own struggle with anxiety and depression, I can’t stress the importance of paying attention to people who are clearly suffering. But getting back to the music, which is really the only thing we should be tuned into anyway as fans. Kehlani’s image seems a little tainted now. How could someone who suffers so much sing about positivity without it being a front? It’s true she has seen enough hardship for multiple lifetimes and yet she has found a way to always look on the bright side. She is expressing herself in the most honest way she can: By showing the world that even with her difficulties, she’ll be damned before her art suffers. ALL OF US are walking a thin line between being OK and utterly hopeless at all times. Such is life. And such is a reminder to take care of yourself…and Kehlani’s music can help with that.
Speaking of staying positive, Tinashe has been an advocate for women in music since day 1. I recently watched an interview where she points out the fact that there are never limits on how many male musicians can join a label or share the spotlight but there is only one top spot for females. Basically it’s either Beyonce or the highway for women in music. <<<< Woah that was a good one. BRB. Getting this tattooed asap. But really though, women aren’t allowed to emulate another female artist’s style (or even ethnicity) without being dismissed because that box has already been checked. But last time I checked, all you had to do to qualify as a male artist was throw “Young” at the beginning of your name and your in. Obviously they must meet a few other standards (talent??) but seriously how do these guys get away with having almost the same name. Remember when Azealia Banks was accusing Iggy Azalea of name stealing and we all thought “Ok AB, why don’t you chill”? Well as a female… the minimum requirement is that you stand out in all areas. Go ahead and apply this to most career fields. So basically Tinashe is dope and I’m glad she is using her voice to bring light to these ridiculous double standards. It’s not just her feminist chops that I’m on board with though, she has been putting out some top notch songs and difficult choreography too. Her sound is dreamy, percussion heavy, gritty, but most of all sexy as hell. Go ahead and try to stop yourself from dancing while listening to her stuff. Imma support Tinashe as long as she wants to keep producing bangers and you should too! Her debut album Aquarius is what I’m recommending but also be on the lookout for new material as it trickles in throughout 2016.