February is a month dedicated to African American people to celebrate and remember their history and culture. It also recognizes people who are currently changing the game for black women like artists Ari Lennox, Kaash Paige and Summer Walker. With each of their unique voices and powerful lyrics, these women are climbing the charts every single day. In honor of today’s female artists, I made a playlist full of gems. Some you may already love, and others you will discover today. Keep reading to find out how these artists are changing the R&B game.
I messaged Kaash Paige on Instagram and to my surprise she responded with a heartfelt message.
“Keep being you. Never let up, especially when you’re destined for greatness. Stay true to you and protect your energy,” Paige said.
I doubted she would see the message, let alone reply, but this is a little glimpse of the down to earth person she is. You might have heard the popular lyrics “I miss my cocoa butter kisses hope you smile when you listen” from the 2018 single “Love Songs” on Tik Tok, but you might not have known who is behind those lyrics and just how good the full song is. Inspired by Doja Cat’s “No Police,” Paige said she was vacuuming and started singing over the beat and that’s how “Love Songs” was born. Her career has only just begun, but I can see Paige blowing up in the near future.
With only one eight-song album you won’t have much to listen to, but I promise you will want to listen to more after hearing her smooth, angelic voice. Her pure, lowkey album cover for “Parked Car Convos” resembles her and her songs to the T. After watching the Genius “Official Lyrics & Meaning” you will fall in love with Paige’s easy-going and reserved personality. Even though her music screams love and affection, she says she doesn’t date anyone and hates the four letter word L-O-V-E.
We can expect a new album from her soon called Teenage Fever after she tweeted “Almost done with my project. This ho is insane.” In an interview with The Breakfast Club Paige mentioned that she’s already met up with Tory Lanez, Don Toliver and Travis Scott. She also worked with the well known R&B artist, 6lack, on a remix of “Love Songs” which added a bit of virility to the delicate song and her flexible voice sounds amazing with any artist.
Next time you find yourself bored of your usual artists, go to Parked Car Convos and listen to “Fake Friends” or “Heartbreaker.” You won’t be disappointed. Check out the official lyrics and meaning of “Love Songs” by Genius here.
Genius official lyrics and meaning video
Breakfast club interview
- Break From Dallas (Parked Car Convos)
- Happy Song (Single)
- WMT (Parked Car Convos)
Yes, her real name is Summer Walker. With face tattoos and a shaved head, Summer Walker is the queen of not caring what people think. She was earning money by stripping from 2016 to 2018 until she was discovered by a studio manager with the same name as her and that’s when her music career began. The remix “Girls Need Love” with Drake was the summer anthem, but it’s not just because Drake was in it. Shortly after she came out with “Playing Games” featuring Bryson Tiller.
This woman cannot be stopped. Her first album was released in 2018, when she started to gain traction in the industry. She dropped her next album Over It on Oct. 4, 2019 and it pushed her even higher on the charts. “Fun Girl” which is the seventh song off of Over It shows Summer’s authentic personality and her thoughts on relationships. Lyrics like “Cause I make my own money and my own rules? Love who I want and f*** who I choose to. Don’t take no s*** and won’t be used” send a clear message to what she’s about. This is girl power and we are here for it. Although she might seem like a strong, secure woman, Summer openly talks about her social anxiety. This is what people love so much about her; she doesn’t hide anything and doesn’t make her life seem perfect. She shows her true self and everything that comes with that. Enjoy Summer Walker’s Tiny Desk Concert here.
- Just Might with PARTYNEXTDOOR (Over It)
- BP (Last Day of Summer)
- Come Thru with Usher (Over It)
The first woman to be signed to J. Cole’s record label Dreamville Records, Courtney Shanada Salter, a.k.a. Ari Lennox, has paved a way for women in today’s music industry. Her first single hit “Shea Butter Baby” premiered in the 2018 movie Creed ll starring Michael B. Jordan. It makes you want to have a chill Saturday night and cuddle up with your boo.
Her 2019 solo freshman album Shea Butter Baby is filled with spice, soul and independence. Lennox knows how to make her mark when she’s featured on a song, which led to her becoming connected to J. Cole and being involved in the making of Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamer’s lll. The record is a collaborative group led by J. Cole and includes artists such as Earthgang, JID, Smino and DaBaby. “Got Me” by Lennox and Omen features Ty Dolla $ign and Dreezy; it’s one of the most popular songs off the album and that’s not by coincidence. You might find yourself swaying back and forth after hearing the beat and then you listen to the lyrics– you’ll either think of your significant other or wish you had one. “S*** like therapy ’cause you know how to talk and when to listen. Kind of love when it don’t change if I’m natural or with extensions.” Either way you’ll want to add Lennox to your playlist.
Watch Ari’s behind the scenes of the making of “Shea Butter Baby” here.
Shea butter baby behind the scenes video
- Up Late (Shea Butter Baby)
- BUSSIT (Revenge of the Dreamers lll: Director’s Cut)
- Pedigree (Single)