Releasing her Debut album earlier this month HEAVN is jam packed with some of the more notable artists rising out of Chicago. From Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment to Saba, Noname and Odd Couple to Kweku Collins; Jamila Woods really knows how to bring it back to her city, as she has set forth to do. Being the associate director at Wordplay Youth Chicago Artists, which helped manifest talents and careers for artists like Chance the Rapper, Mick Jenkins and Saba, she gets to hear and experience the stories and struggles of the youth on the south side empathically, being raised in Beverly Hills, Chicago herself. She is working on a strong platform making her voice heard not for herself but for the voices unheard in his beautifully diverse city that fills her with complicated love.
HEAVN is Jamila’s debut album joining the ranks of the many independent Chicago artists after first making herself known through collaborations with Chance on Sunday Candy and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ White Privilege II. HEAVN holds powerful messages of love, awareness and resilience for the masses to hear as well. Songs like VRY BLK with NoName echoes the struggle of police brutality taking on the rhythm of the nursery rhyme Miss Mary Mack metaphorically singing serving and protecting is stealing babies lives. Then you have Blk Girl Soldier a strong vocally passionate song that brings to light the silent struggle of young black women.”Look at what they did to my sisters, last century last week, put her in a jar and forget her, they love how it repeats” Jamila sings as her video focuses on protesters holding signs saying Say Her Name, an organization bringing awareness to black women who have been murdered, beaten or go missing and never get reported on. The combination of the lyrics and video message highlights the strength of black women then and now who endure so much more and still rise to the top because they have to.
Jamila in the end carries the torch of love and empowerment among many strong female artists that hold the same message. When it gets down to it though she is an artist, with a heavy soul. A mere human as humbly reminded in Lonely Lonely, filled with doubts and concerns with the real issues internal and external. Here to remind you that even the strongest minds have their dark days and in the end you are all that you got and need. Just love and appreciate your blessings as she sings “My cup is full, what I got is enough, nobody completes me, don’t mess with my love” in her song Holy. Just wake up in the morning with your mind set on loving yourself, that in itself is a revolutionary act. Get inspired and download this album for free.