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I MET GOD, SHE’S BLACK Black women are becoming the new goddesses of music– whether it’s hip hop, soul, pop or alternative, these artists will give you a spiritual experience. // Samantha Sanker


want to begin this piece by stating that this is by no means an exhaustive histo-

Why These Women Are So Diverse And Important

ninity, especially black femininity. Artists like Solange, Shayna, and Santi present

ry of black women in the music industry.

These women present themselves to the

themselves to the world in nontraditional,

My intention is simply to showcase my

media as highly educated, well-rounded,

nonconformist ways. While people can be

favorite black women in the music scene

sensitive, artistic individuals. For example,

quick to confine these women into genres

today and spark further analysis and de-

Azealia Banks may be a New York City club

and labels to better understand them, this

bate. The six most compelling and exciting

chick, but can easily give a comprehensive

should be approached with caution as these

black femme musicians, in my opinion,

dissertation on the history of blackness in

women seem to never fit in any box.

are Santigold, SZA, Junglepussy, Solange,

The United States of America if asked. 25

Noname, and Azealia Banks. While these

year old East New Yorker, Shayna McHale

from a gritty, queenpin sound (Banks, Jun-

women sort of occupy the same space in

– aka Junglepussy, has rapped about her

glepussy), to plucky guitar ballads (SZA), to

the music industry, they are all radically

period and spoken at Yale and Columbia

more poetic spoken word jams (Noname).

different from one another. Their music is

University about living a nutritious lifestyle

If you expect a singular, one-dimension-

a constant in my life, regardless of what

and what that means for your body. Solána

al sound from these showstoppers, you

mood I may be in, and the influence these

Rowe, aka SZA, has made very openly sex-

expected wrong. The expanse of variety

women have on me is forceful. Despite

ual music, and at the same time admits she

in these six artists alone is enough for

people who may view blackness as a

has issues with anxiety and self-esteem

an entire music library. They write about

“profitable costume” like Danielle Bregoli

and rocks baggy clothes. These women

accepting and rejecting the male gaze as

who raps in a “blaccent” or Kylie Jenner

manage to be so impressive and powerful

well as the importance of friendship. Their

who frequently appropriates black style,

while breaking barriers left and right. The

voices definitely need to be heard because

these artists remain unapologetic beacons

complexities and sophistication of these

they have important messages, but the

of strength and energy. They are flawless

women are what I find so highly intrigu-

fact that there are loud, weird, artsy girls

examples of gifted women who persevere

ing. Both Solange Knowles and Santi White

making this amount of sound on stage and

in the face of all that seeks to erase them.

(Santigold) are wives and mothers and I

in studio is what is most important. SZA is

Whether their subject matter is lovers,

think their families influence their art in

bold and unafraid to be sensitive and hon-

money, weed, sex, fear, anger, joy, failures

such a beautiful way. I even saw Santi’s

est when she talks about the unfabulous

or triumph -- trust me, you’re going to

baby boy at the side of the stage at her

struggles of being young and insecure. Her

want to listen to these songs with open

“We Buy Gold” tour. These women never

latest album has themes of needing atten-

ears, a full heart and at maximum volume.

fail to challenge the construct of femi-

tion and validation from others, especially


I look to these artists for everything

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The Vindicator - November 2017  

The Vindicator - November 2017  


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