Jamila Woods drops “blk girl soldier" and you need to hear this

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| January 20 2016,

11:32 am


Chicago singer/poet/miracle-maker Jamila Woods is great at everything she does. In the past year, she made the world fall in love first with her voice and then her smile on Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment's Sunday Candy,” and won the prestigious and baller Ruth Lilly – Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. On Tuesday, Woods dropped her first single from an upcoming, can’t-come-soon-enough solo project. “blk girl soldier” is a go-hard ode to the glory and the fight in every black girl; it should be blasted at maximum volume near playgrounds, in hair salons and in the car with your niece 'n' 'em. Woods brings her poet pen game with lines such as “look at what they did to my sister/last century, last week." The lyrics of this song are cutting enough if spoken, and they're transformed into this fist-bump-inducing, head-bangin', tear-jerkin', crump praise-dancin' jam Woods lays over the bass-heavy track

Woods calls out the names of a few freedom fighters and legends in the world of black girl magic, but with her music she is putting herself in a lineage with Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Tracy Chapman and other legendary singer-songwriters that have used both those titles to be revolutionary in their music and the world they make it in. “blk girl soldier” is a song that doesn’t sacrifice its funk in order to have a message. It's another step in this current era of black genius in Chicago music – music that is innovative, inventive and as good for the people as it is for the turn-up. I’ve been mesmerized by the magic of Jamila Woods and her voice, which is the Midas Touch on any track. I know that the project she's about to bless us with is going to be a classic. Listen to the track, then listen to it again, then listen to it every day as we wait for more of what Woods has in store for us
Danez Smith is a poet, writer, and performer from St. Paul, MN. They are the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017) and insert [boy] (YesYes Books, 2014). Danez writes about black stuff, queer stuff, other stuff and the old Cash Money.

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