If I were to attempt to give you my 10 favorite albums of all time. I think only one woman would crack my list and she may appear twice because she has 2 albums that played a huge role in my upbringing.
Those albums are "What's The 411" and "My Life" by Mary J. Blige. My favorite R&B albums a woman has ever made. "Rapture" by Anita Baker in 3rd then to bring it to 5 gimme T.L.C's "Crazy, Sexy, Cool" and SWV's "It's About Time."
If we're talking top 10 (Regardless of gender) only Mary is making that cut for me personally. The entertainment industry is so male dominated so that's all I saw. In the 90's women in the music industry always had a man in the background somewhere. Just go watch the music videos from that era. Even if the music women were making was dope it was like the labels was subliminally telling the viewers and listeners that none of this would be possible without a man.
The formula was find a woman or women who sing great or has appeal and put the male producer or rapper in the video with her/them because they thought they can't keep anyone's attention without a man there.
Almost all of the female M.C's in the 90's were broken in through male rappers. The first time you seen them was through a feature of a male rapper.
2016 so far has been a really cool year for music releases. It's the first time in my life where I think all my favorite albums of the year were created by black women. I think Anderson Paak (Malibu), JMSN (It Is), and Danny Brown (Atrocity Exhibition) were the only albums from men that were my favorites.
What's even cooler is that my favorites isn't just rap music. I don't know if it's old age or what but it feels great. What makes me feel even better is that black women have owned music in 2016. It's not only important that I love and support what they're creating but it's important I listen to their messages in their music and outside of it.
Just look at the list of these great albums from women in 2016.
- Yuna - "Chapters"
- Beyonce - "Lemonade"
- Ravyn Lenae - "Moon Shoes EP"
- Jones - "New Skin"
- H.E.R. - "H.E.R. Vol 1"
- Solange - "A Seat At The Table"
- Noname - "Telefone"
- Kamaiyah - "A Good Night In The Ghetto"
- Jamila Woods - "HEAVN"
- Nao - "For All We Know"
- Kilo Kish - "Reflections In Real Time"
- KING - "We Are KING"
Yuna not black but shiiiiieeeet she got Usher sounding like the Usher from 2004 on her song "Crush" so I'm drafting her as my first pick in the racial draft. You Malaysian and Black today baby.
I don't even know if H.E.R. is a black woman. She's Noob Saibot from Mortal Kombat and shit. I'll take a gamble and say she is. If not, fuck it I'm wrong, that's life.
All those albums are really incredible to me. If you haven't checked any of them out I highly recommend that you do. If I had to pick the one's I've played the most I'd have to say Ravyn Lenae (Looooove her EP), Noname, KING, Kamaiyah, and Yuna's projects. Solange and JONES just dropped but I'm certain I'm going to wear those albums out for sure. They're so, so great.
Here's why Black Women owning music in 2016 is important.
CONFIDENCE IS INFECTIOUS
All of those albums I listed cover so many emotions but in the end these women just ooze confidence in their music. Even when they show us sides to themselves that are vulnerable they still bring us back to their confidence.
I'm seeing women listeners all over the world get inspired by the art they're hearing from these women and they're taking on whatever challenges and goals they have in life with a new and more confident mindset. It's giving other black women strength. There's nothing wrong with gaining strength from music.
Black women are walking different. Talking different. There's more positivity. I love all of it and I'm here for it.
A CONVO ABOUT WAGES IS OVERDUE
Everywhere. Any job. Women are underpaid. Criminally underpaid. Especially in all forms of entertainment. Now I'm not the type to watch another man pockets but the checks some of these rappers are getting for literally walk around on stage high and put on a terrible show is ridiculous.
I can't really be upset at them though. The people demand that shit so I guess it's a battle not worth fighting. Can't tell the next person what I feel they're worth.
It doesn't make sense that a artist like Nao is getting less than a lot of these rappers that aren't even proven yet. She not really either but I bet her pay different than the guy rapping about xans every song. Not 1 great project to their name and they get crazy money. Why are IG models in the same ballpark as Solange? Nigga no. It's silly. Unless a black woman is half naked then people think she's not worth the money of the top male artists. The shit is weird.
Black women have to be on Beyonce or Nicki Minaj level to get respect and huge paydays. Women have to fly to money men can walk to. It's unfair.
THE MOST HATED HUMANS IN THE WORLD
Black women are the most hated humans in the world. The most disrespected. I remember seeing Meryl Streep point out how women in Hollywood are underpaid. Think about that. This is Meryl Streep. A white woman with 347 Oscars saying this so what you think they think about a black woman when they don't care about what that rich white woman talking bout?
You want to see how much black women are hated? Google "white women" see what comes up then after that google "black women" and see what comes up. Do this on youtube too. What you will see when you search white women is positive articles. Shit like "Dating white women is the best," "Random white women thoughts on gardening" almost everything is positive.
You search "black women" and see everything is negative or an article on why people hate black women so much. They're associated with negativity.
This year we're seeing black women run 2016 musically and it's about time because I'm tired of black women being associated with negativity. It's time to put them in the light where they belong. Every time I look up I'm seeing the entertainment business steal black women's style and not give them credit for it. Whether it's in music, clothes, hair, anything. Cut these queens their checks and give them their respect. The entertainment business been violating for too fucking long and it's time we call them out and act on it.
What I love about black women is that they love hard. They still love others despite how people treat them. Black women should hate every fucking body but they don't and that's a testament to how special, strong, and beautiful their souls are.
I'm not only supporting them because they're black women but because the art they're making is really good too. You can't even measure the creativity you're seeing from these women today. It's very inspiring.
Seeing these beautiful artistic black women share their visions with us and thrive from them is some dope shit. They deserve it. It's their time.
I love when women do not compete with each other and bond or work with each other. Fuck the tea/gossip about each other. I love how music from these artists are bringing black women together to love one another. I would like to see the women on my list work with each other in the future.
BLACK WOMEN HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY
*In Andre 3000 voice at the Source Awards.* Whether it's the sad "Bye Bye Baby" by Noname (Very tough song to listen to) or F.U.B.U by Solange, a song of black empowerment since we can't have shit else in this world. Shit, let us have this song at least. Black Women have something to say and their voices are beautiful. Regardless if they sing or not.
You want your year to get better? Listen to a black woman.
Love, Benny now available.