Given that Women’s Month is almost over I figured I should share this second playlist which celebrates women. I couldn’t add it all in the first list and this one is a bit all over the place. Different genres are represented in this one. I was almost not going to post this then I watched RBG a documentary which details the personal and professional life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who has championed gender equality in the USA. My boyfriend gave me the film thank you Nkululeko. It was too much of an coincidence that I typed up this post yesterday and then I got to watch this inspiring documentary so this is my little contribution to promoting great women in the music industry.I hope you enjoy it if you do listen.
This song isn’t well known in South Africa and should be. My whole life I’ve struggled to find the balance between being direct, speaking my mind and being kind. This song speaks to me and to every woman who has battled with speaking her mind. Sara hooks her battle cry with “ say what you want to say and let the words fall out honestly I want to see you be brave” The military music in the background adds even more dramatic effect. And the music video is cheerful lots of dancing.
Marina and the Diamonds- Can’t Pin Me Down
Marina is Welsh and creates indie pop tracks. Another lesser known artist at least in my country The line from the song “ Do you really want me to write a feminist anthem I’m happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for my husband” hits hard. I think Marina challenges dated views of what it means to be a feminist by drawing attention to the fact that being married and cooking dinner for her spouse doesn’t make a women less of a women and “ You can paint me any colour, I can be your Russian doll but you ain’t got my number no you can’t make me small. Filled with catchy lines and girl power this is a song that celebrates womanhood.
Kimbra- Like they do on TV
Kimbra is a indie pop artists I’ve listened to her music before. I did stumble across this song because of YouTube the music video has a scene where Kimbra is an animated superhero. The video is unusual and the song has significance “ I’ve been looking far and wide running from the fear inside just close your eyes and try” my choice lyric of this song.
Janelle Monáe ft. Zoë Kravitz- Screwed
I’ve read YouTube commentators saying that this song is purely about sex. It does use lots of innuendo and direct references to sex. Despite this it’s not just about sex. The song deals with gender inequality, mass shootings, feeling upset because Trump is the President of the US, and how sex is used to gain power. There’s a ton going on in this one and the back beat sounds summery, vibey and cheerful even though the themes are sombre.
Salt n’ Pepper-None of your business
I grew listening to Salt n’ Pepper not exactly PG I know. My sister happens to be 14 years older than me so it was bound to happen. She was a huge fan of these ladies and made me on too. This song deals with how women are judges for exhibiting sexual freedom and taking ownership of their bodies. The last line of the song drives home the message “Who are you to judge there’s only one true judge and that’s God so chill and let my father do his job”
Queen Latifah- U.N.I.T.Y
I still dance to this one at parties with its jazzy saxophone groove and the iconic Queen Latifah who can resist. The anger in her voice “who you calling a bitch” speaks volumes and yet she still says “love a black man from to infinity” showing that the Queen is no man hater. She only wants respect.
Eternal- The power of women
With the 90’s girl band craze you can be forgiven for not knowing who these ladies are. Eternal a disbanded girl band with a difference who were based in the UK sang soulful R& B music. I still have a cassette with their hits on it. The power of a women is one of their hits. It is a love song that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have that super women character to it. “ You need the power of a women taking over you that’s what love can do” And I agree that love does make you powerful.
Shania Twain- Man I feel like women
A country song about getting ready to go out to have a killer girls night out , the opening line is “Let’s go girls” My favourite line is“ I want to be free feel the way I feel man I feel like a women”
Pistol Annies- Bad Example
Bad Example by the Pistol Annie’s is extremely country song not the Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood or Faith Hill are more pop-ish in comparison. I don’t know anyone who knows this song. It’s humorous and discusses class differences, breaking the mould, being an individual, being proud of who you are
No Doubt- I’m just a girl
My taste in music is all over the place as you can see. This SKA/Punk rock band is well known for it’s breakthrough song Don’t speak. Fronted by Gwen Stefani most people know this song. I’ve found that they don’t know “I’m just a girl” a song which speaks about how women are treated differently for being women.
Joan Jett- Bad Reputation
Joan Jett has an edgy voice which is perfect for this song which features in countless movies. “ I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation” Not caring about the judgement of the world, being a bit of a rebel and embracing who you are as a women is the kick-ass message of this song.
Grace- You don’t own me
The original was a staple in my house. The title song of the First Wive Club there’s a scene where all the ladies break out in song and ban together to deliver this song. I decided to add the updated version by Grace to this list as I think it’s not as popular. The changes haven’t ruined the song for me so do have a listen and get back to me if you love it or hate it. I’d like to know.
Shad- Keep Shinning
Shad raps and says“I just can’t talk for women” he speaks about how too few women are represented in hip-hop. Keep Shinning is rousing and eloquently delivered. Having a man praise female empowerment is always welcome thank you Shad.
Blackstar- Brown skin lady
This rap duo starts off with a intro of how beauty standards have been conditioned. This track appreciates and celebrates the beauty of Brown skin women. The gorgeousness of women who are smart and copper toned. In a world which still discriminates against dark skinned women the this song is refreshing.
“I know because I’ve been there knocking on the doors with rejection, rejection and you’ll see because if it’s meant be nothing can compare to deserving your dreams” My anthem for now job hunting receiving oodles of rejection. This song is about preserving and achieving your dreams no matter what. Not specifically geared at women but hey ladies you are Amazing so that makes it a women anthem.
“We work hard for the money. In cycles like menopause “ with these kind of lyrics I’m hooked to this song.
Sons of Kemet- My Queen is Albertina Sisulu
According to Wikipedia “Sons of Kemet are a British jazz group formed in 2011 that consists of Shabaka Hutchings, Tom Skinner, Theon Cross, and Eddie Hick. Seb Rochford quit Sons of Kemet in late 2016” Their album Your Queen is a Reptile criticizes the monarchy, racism and classism in the UK don’t listen to it if you love the royal family. Other tracks include songs such as My Queen is Albertina Sisulu. Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was a key anti-apartheid freedom fighter. She gained the nickname South “Mother of the Nation” for her efforts and helping to dismantle apartheid. The song has a vibey African beat and made me want to dance at my desk.
Other songs on the album include My Queen is Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman was born a slave and escaped she then helped free 69 slaves in America. The songs themselves are jazzy most don’t include lyrics. These guys deserve much more attention. Read more: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/sons-of-kemet-your-queen-is-a-reptile/
Sampa the Great feat Nicole Gumbe – Black girl magic
Sampa the Great is a musician and she does spoken word. In this song there’s a poetry section which moved me. The video is magnificent. I love this song and have been listening to it everyday since discovering it.
K.Flay is one of the artists who’s lyrics I enjoy listening to. The hook of Dreamers” This one goes out to all the dreamers at sea.This life is only what you want it to be.And I want more, I want more” is motivational but yeah listen to the song all the words are meaningful.
Kero Kero Bonito- Flamingo
Kero Kero Bonito is a UK band. Their song Flamingo has a synth beat. I don’t normally listen to this kind of music. The song kind of sounds like a nursery name. The lyrics are cool though “it’s boring being the same” stands out for me. This band mixes upbeat melodies with Japanese and English lyrics. I just found out about them recently and will be listening to more of their stuff soon.
With a name like Junglepussy you should expect explicit lyrics from this Brooklyn born rapper who has Caribbean roots. Bling bling doesn’t hold back. Junglepussy writes songs which are aligned to feminism and black pride.
Angel Haze-Werkin Girls
Angel haze deals with her turbulent upbringing through her music. She was abused and raps about her pain. She is Black and Native American and identifies as pansexual and agender.
CupcakKe is a queer rapper. She first started writing poetry then began rapping. Her song LGBT has a Asian beat in the background. It is explicit but, fun to listen to.
Thank you for reading and for listening if you did. Please feel free to comment.