Chicago’s music scene has been so glo’d up this past year and the flame doesn’t seem like it’s going to die down any time soon. Since Februrary we’ve been blessed with Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo, Chance The Rapper’s highly-praised Coloring Book, Joey Purps’ debut iiiDrops, and Vic Mensa’s socially aware There’s Alot Going On. Basically in the words of Charlemagne Tha God, “Chi running this rap shit.” While the boys have been holding it down, it’s time to share the spotlight with the soulful songstress, poet, and activist Jamila Woods with her long awaited debut album Heavn.
Woods released Heavn a couple days ago but we purposely waited to write about it just in time for Women Crush Wednesday (we’re corny and we love it); which she deserves with the highest honor. The 13-track album is beautifully composed with love and care that you can actually feel her heart and soul. It celebrates Black girl magic, ancestors, self love, and the complex love for Chicago.
In a recent statement, Woods says, “HEAVN is about black girlhood, about Chicago, about the people we miss who have gone on to prepare a place for us somewhere else, about the city/world we aspire to live in. 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.”
Heavn also features fellow Chicagoans Chance the Rapper, Saba, Donnie Trumpet, Noname, as well as Atlanta based artist Lorine Chia. Take a listen below. We’ve had it on repeat.