Jamila Woods’ sultry voice has been skating on the periphery of of 2016’s most ear-grabbing songs. From her elation on Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment’s “Sunday Candy” to Macklemore’s divisive “White Privilege II” and more punchy singing on Chance’s “Blessings,” the Chicago singer/activist’s chords strike something serene in everything they touch. Today (July 11), she’s struck out on her own with her debut full-length HEAVN.
A 13-track paean to Black self-love in a time when we need it more than ever, it’s Woods who’s calling on everyone else, as fellow Chi fixtures Chance, Saba, Noname, Donnie Trumpet, and more join her for some affirming R&B. “VRY BLK” in particular is a hard-hitting early cut that flips the old Ms. Lucy nursery rhyme into a cry for help: “Black is like the magic, the magic’s like a spell/My brothers went to heaven and the police going to, yea they’re going to/hello operator, emergency hotline/If I say that I can’t breathe, will I become a chalkline?”
Give the project a listen below.