Jamila Woods


BY Ryan B. PatrickPublished May 7, 2019

Chicago poet and soul/R&B singer-songwriter Jamila Woods is all about the challenge. Not content to simply offer up another visit to HEAVN, her breakout 2016 debut, Woods continues to explore and expand her understanding of black feminism, identity and heritage.
LEGACY! LEGACY! is a celebration of past, present and future by way of looking at influential artists, writers and thinkers like Sun Ra, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Eartha Kitt, Sonia Sanchez, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more. Backed by production from Peter Cottontale, oddCouple and Slot-A, Woods admits that some of the icons she shouts out and names the songs for on this 13-track sophomore album challenged and emboldened her to learn more about their respective histories, imploring listeners to do the same.
The rocking "Basquiat" features fellow Chi-town native Saba riding a rock bass line and defiant flow (They want to see me angry/They want to see my bare my teeth"). "Zora" uplifts the name of the prolific late author Zora Neale Thurston as it tackles and blows up stereotypes, "Eartha" celebrates late actress Eartha Kitt's uncompromising spirit and feminism, "Sonia," with Nitty Scott, delves into modern-day feminism and "Baldwin" with Nico Segal embodies the late James Baldwin's contributions to modern-day black literature, thought and independence.
LEGACY! LEGACY! is a complex and near-flawless reworking of genre — "I am not your typical girl," as Woods notes on "Betty" — as the singer-songwriter evolves her art, thought and reason for being.

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