In-tune, woke, and raw. These words encompass Jamila Woods newest album, Heavn. A Chicago native, Jamila sings about being unapologetically very black, touches on police brutality, evoking emotion, truth in her words, and relatability in her upbeat sound.
“I hope this album encourages listeners to love themselves and love each other. For black and brown people, caring for ourselves and each other is not a neutral act. It is a necessary and radical part of the struggle to create a more just society. Our healing and survival are essential to the fight,” said Woods.
With collaborations from Chance the Rapper, production by Nate Fox and strong titles such as, “BLK Girl Soldier,” Woods’ hones in on her inner strength as a Black woman with some of the industry’s top acts. The first song off the album, “Bubbles,” is a bit deceiving as not only the sound, but the lyrics are a bit lighter than the entire album with a strong message none the less. She touches on the experience of a Black girl by singing about hair, and listening before speaking to avoid judgement, which is an experience that the masses may not be able to understand. Nonetheless it’s a good introduction to Jamila as a musical artist.
“LSD,” is a good medium between the strong messages of the album and catchy sound. Another song, “Stellar,” is a bit of a softer sound with a nice guitar complement. The closing of many songs end in a voice recording of her speaking on stories and memories which really tie each song together to create a unified album and give the listener a piece of mind to create a familiar feeling.
To end, “Way Up,” is enlightening as the drums create a feeling of empowerment. Wood’s is a talented singer songwriter with backs from some other dope industry heads, keep an eye out for this Chicago girl.