More Women’s History Month content! It was around the very end of 2018 when I dropped my list of takes pertaining to that entire year of music, and point five is as relevant as ever. I detailed how the women had an amazing year, but the best was yet to come. I don’t think I’m wrong here, as there is overwhelming love and support for the slew of women making waves in music today. Just this week Philadelphia’s own Tierra Whack took to Twitter to salute all the songstresses and lyricists holding it down. The list left off some names but was still pretty extensive.
Women have been long regarded as the tastemakers in music, as the songs that they yell in clubs or on their Snapchat stories ultimately become what is played the most, charts, and what men take a liking to. It’s especially exciting when the tastemakers get to uplift the music made by their own. Fellas, this isn’t something for us to get upset about. This is a great opportunity for us.
Rather than getting upset with your girl playing more women artists than the men that you like, perhaps it’s time we learn the lyrics to these songs so we can join in the fun during car rides or while your girl is taking three hours to get dressed. It’ll make the latter much more bearable if you can sing along. Here are a few of my suggestions for songs to learn.
City Girls — Act Up
At this point, there’s no denying the City Girls’ talent and impact. While some like to just label them as ratchet and untalented, their unique sound, energy, and aggressiveness are empowering women all over the country. The men are coming around too, but I think we can get on the wave a bit faster. Besides, it’s not like we can’t relate to a hook like “act up, you can get snatched up.” “Act Up” is an anthem, and genuinely a great song.
Yes, they may talk about scamming us out of money or playing us in the manner some of us play them, but hey it’s just lyrics, right? As long as your girlfriend isn’t singing them with too much aggression, just sit back and enjoy the smile that comes across her face while she’s listening. Why not sing along? City Girls and City Boys unite!
Blueface — Thotiana ft. Cardi B
Much respect to Blueface as I am actually coming around to this song and the “yeah aight” ad lib is hilarious, but this one is all about Cardi B’s verse. I was sold the moment I heard “Cardianna” and then she truly locked me in once I got to the “have his breath smelling like pussy and mimosas” line. I think I can safely speak for all men in saying those are two of the greatest things on Earth and combined it’s almost too much for us to handle.
To me, this is among one of Cardi’s best verses, even if gimmicky. She goes on for quite some time, referencing throwing it back like the ten-year challenge, motherhood and not swallowing Plan B because she swallows the nut. I mean, I don’t really see why any man wouldn’t like this verse. She’s giving women a horde of ideas and suggestions to make our lives better. All facts, no cap. Y’all better get on Genius immediately.
Kehlani — Footsteps ft. Musiq Soulchild
Unfortunately, this one doesn’t have the upbeat energy of the two songs previously mentioned, but boy if it doesn’t make a guy think. Kehlani delivered a pleasant surprise in mixtape While We Wait in between the rollout for her forthcoming album. It’s not that she hasn’t given us great music before, but as just a filler before the album, I don’t know if anyone anticipated the mixtape being this good.
Album opener “Footsteps” features the ever so vulnerable and soulful Musiq Soulchild, as the two reflect on a relationship gone wrong due to constant tension, the man’s tendency to make bad mistakes, and the circle they continue going in. Kehlani drags us, cleverly flipping Omarion ‘s powerful line from “Ice Box,” “And I really wanna work this out because I’m tired of fighting, and I really hope you still want me the way I want you.” Musiq taps in, owning up to his shit and trying to cover his tracks, but it’s clear we’re losing this battle. Not that we necessarily want to win.
Whether the relationship is going well or down in the dumps, I think every woman can feel Kehlani here a bit and connect some line to a memory they have. We ain’t perfect fellas, but we can sure steer into the skid and enjoy this deep cut with our ladies. Maybe just make sure you follow the footsteps she leaves in the mud.
Drake — That’s How You Feel
If you blinked, weren’t paying attention, or were focused on the Pusha T drama you might have missed just how much women contribute to June’s Scorpion by none other than the 6 God, Drake. He sampled Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, and Lauryn Hill while including vocals from the City Girls and longtime buddy Nicki Minaj. It’s the last one whose words we should be paying attention to fellas, in the Side B cut “That’s How You Feel.”
It’s one of those tracks where Drake is just minding his business before a girl comes in and shakes up his world. That’s me speaking for him of course, and the reality is he may not be the victim at all. Anyways, in between his verses and bridges, he throws in clips from Nicki’s beloved “Boss Ass Bitch” remix where she outlines the rules of being a bad bitch, which including not letting a clown nigga play you and fucking his best friends if it does occur.
I’ve witnessed firsthand how impassioned this line makes women, and not being on the right side could lead to you being bombarded. Be on the right side of history…and Nicki lyrics.
Kehlani — RPG ft. 6LACK
I love this mixtape, but I really love this song. I’ve written about it before, addressing how 6LACK is a strong voice representing all imperfect, troubled males trying to navigate this thing we call love and the way he conveys such in his music. This time around, Kehlani is calling out her man for doing things only because she says he doesn’t such as calling her beautiful, laying with her and staying with her.
Is she wrong? No, sometimes we can get caught up in ourselves and need reminders. The repetitive “show me your love” is so heart-wrenching because the yearning feeling really hits hard. 6LACK stepping in to explain himself gives some credence to us men, and it’s admirable he’s not looking to dismiss any of her allegations. The way they harmonize on the last hook is magnificent, and I’m so looking forward to my next late night drive with bae so we can recreate the magic these two have. Give Kehlani’s verse the proper attention though. We gotta hear stuff like this.
Summer Walker — Girls Need Love (Remix) ft. Drake
Just kidding, but yeah I had to include this one. Surely, Summer Walker had a strong, honest message on her own talking about how women can’t express their sexual desires but fuck all that noise. If she wants it, she’s gonna say something because closed mouths don’t get fed. Drizzy came through to give her an alley-oop. It may not be his best verse and I respect those who feel that way, but you can’t deny he dropped quite a few lines women can turn on us.
I’ve already discussed the “dick with no complications” situation, as well as the entire remix, but yeah gentlemen you can’t go wrong learning either verse here. You’re either supporting a woman standing firm in her sexuality, or a man who is committing himself to please her with dick, weed, white wine and a variety of strokes. Not to mention acknowledging that men get it their way all the time, so the tides ought to turn. Girls need and deserve love, too.
I’m just here to provide the game to my fellow wholesome men navigating the world and in search of their queens. It’s time we stop being entitled and expecting things to work our way. Love is a two-way street, and women endure a lot. The least we can do is learn the lyrics to the songs they love and sing along. It’ll make our lives easier, and secure us some lovin’ perhaps. Everybody wins. Unless she’s singing the lyrics too hard. Then check and make sure all is well.
Originally published at https://www.elevatormag.com on March 14, 2019.