18 Songs That Epitomize What My Feminism Sounds Like
Ladies first. Better act like you know.
February 28, 2017 at 7:39 pm
The effortless transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month serves as a continuation of excellence, opulence and decadence; only this time, it’s all about the ladies. There’s something so beautiful and resilient about the spirit of black women. We bare light, create trends, heal and nurture, all while possessing an unequivocal level of strength.
To put it simply, we’re lit.
Our magic has been documented in every medium from literature to film. However, to hear our stories explicitly told over ill beats and instrumentation just takes the cake. For Women’s History Month, I’ve arranged a list of 18 songs that accurately depict what my feminism and womanism, sounds like.
These anthems are definitive to any generation of woman, no matter her color, creed, shape or size. The message is simple: I am a black woman. Hear me roar.
1. "I'm Every Woman" – Chaka Khan
YouTube | Chaka Khan
Notable Line: I ain't bragging because I'm the one. Just ask me; oh, it shall be done. And don't bother to compare. I've got it.
2. "Not Tonight (Ladies Night) Remix" – Lil' Kim, Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Left-Eye
YouTube | UPROXX Video
Notable Line: Y'all should be like Missy instead of like Mike.
3. "Q.U.E.E.N." – Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu
YouTube | Janelle Monáe
Notable Line: My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertit
Every nook and cranny on our bodies deserves all the praise. These songs make us love the skin we're in.
4. "Video" – India.Arie
YouTube | India Arie
Notable Line: I know my Creator didn't make no mistakes on me. My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes. I'm lovin' what I see.
5. "Conceited" – Remy Ma
YouTube | Remy Ma
Notable Line: Yeah, okay, I got a little fat but my shorty tell me he like it like that.
On Love and Sex
What's a playlist without a few songs dedicated to the lover in us black women? These songs express the beauty in black love and the empowerment of sexual freedom.
6. "I Wanna Be Down (Remix)" – Brandy, Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo and MC Lyte
YouTube | UPROXX Video
Notable Line: I like the way you be with all that personality, but I got flava too. You needs to get with me.
7. "None of Your Business" – Salt-N-Pepa
YouTube | Salt-N-Pepa
Notable Line: Now, you shouldn't even get into who I'm giving skins to. It's none of your business.
On Money and Independence
These songs cater to the money maker in all of us – doing for self and growing for self. Black and green look so good together, no?
8. "Da Baddest Bitch" – Trina
YouTube | Atlantic Records
Notable Line: I'm representin' for the bitches. All eyes on your riches.
9. "Where Dem Dollaz At?" – Gangsta Boo
YouTube | officialgangstaboo
Notable Line: F**k bein' broke for days. Ladies gots to get paid.
10. "Sam Jones Blues" – Bessie Smith
YouTube | Traveler Into The Blue
Notable Line: Though I ain’t rich, I know my stitch. I earned my strutting shoes. Say, hand me the key that unlocks my front door. Because that bell don’t read Sam Jones no more, no. You ain’t talkin’ to Mrs. Jones. You speakin’ to Miss Wilson now.
Sometimes, we wear our hearts on our sleeves and life gets to us. These songs speak on the strength and resilience of the black woman's spirit.
11. "Formation" – Beyoncé
YouTube | Beyoncé
Notable Line: I dream it. I work hard. I grind 'til I own it.
12. "Ain't Got No (I Got Life)" – Nina Simone
YouTube | drMandinga
Notable Line: I've got life. I've got my freedom. I've got life. I'm gonna keep it.
13. "The Story" – KING
YouTube | weareKINGworldwide
Notable Line: The ride is rocky and the road is long, but I know that my soul is never gonna steer me wrong. Gonna master the art of following my heart.
A term once (and, on occasional, still is) used to silence us under the oppressive gaze, is one we've assigned a new meaning to. The word "bitch" holds a new type of power in this age, and these songs speak to that.
14. "Queen Bitch" – Lil' Kim
YouTube | Lil Kim
Notable Line: I am a diamond cluster hustler. Queen bitch, supreme bitch.
15. "She's A Bitch" – Missy Elliott
YouTube | Missy Elliott
Notable Line: "She's a bitch." When you say my name, talk mo' junk, but won't look my way.
On Being the Baddest
We're flawless. We're trendsetters. We're women, phenomenally. These songs touch on the magnificence that is associated with black women. Damn, it feels good to be a black girl.
16. "Ladies First" – Queen Latifah and Monie Love
YouTube | Tommy Boy
Notable Line: Who said the ladies couldn't make it? You must be blind. If you don't believe, well here, listen to this rhyme. Ladies first – there's no time to rehearse. I'm divine and my mind expands throughout the universe.
17. "Cha Cha Cha" – MC Lyte
YouTube | Zologie
Notable Line: More tender than a roni, but harder than a jawbreaker.
18. "Interlude: I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It" – Solange, Kelly Rowland and Nia Andrews
YouTube | solangeknowlesmusic
Notable Line: Don't let anybody steal your magic…but, I got so much y'all. You can have it.
What songs accurately define your feminism? Share below!