Chicago singer, songwriter, and poet Jamila Woods comes through Monday with her debut album, Heavn, which is just as much a project of intoxicating tracks as it is a collection of songs meant to heal.
Jamila recruits both friends and fellow Chicagoans Chance the Rapper, who contributed to the previously released "LSD," Saba, and Donnie Trumpet to add a new dynamic to her already poetic tracks. "Chicago is my #heavn," she tweeted, so it only makes sense she would want some of the city's greatest talent on the project, especially considering both Chance and Donnie recruited her for their own projects. She previously was featured on Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment’s "Sunday Candy" and Coloring Book’s "Blessings."
"Blk Girl Soldier," Jamila's empowering anthem that celebrates both her heritage and own power, is also included. "I wanted to celebrate the power and resilience of Black women but also highlight the importance of allowing space for more quiet, vulnerable moments where we can refuel ourselves and each other," she previously told Complex about the track when we premiered the video.
The rest of Heavn follows suit, like a stream of soulful consciousness that interweaves downtrodden R&B beats with lyrics wrought with immense political and social commentary about her surroundings in Chicago. "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" Jamila said in a statement. "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."
Listen to Jamila Woods' debut album Heavn in its entirety below which is available for free courtesy of Chicago's Closed Sessions label.