By: Kitty Cheung, Staff Writer
LEGACY! LEGACY! by Jamila Woods
Jamila Woods’s LEGACY! LEGACY! is an uplifting album due to its strong messages of feminist liberation, Black empowerment, and self-love. Each track is named after a prominent figure who has inspired Woods such as Eartha Kitt, Frida Kahlo, and James Baldwin.
“SONIA”, a track named after poet Sonia Sanchez, features Woods recalling a toxic relationship and moving past it to heal. The defiant and evocative lyricism of rapper Nitty Scott’s verse on this track strengthens the feminist current of the song.
“BASQUIAT” is another notable track, inspired by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. While speaking to Pitchfork, Woods connected the track to an interview she had seen where Basquiat, when asked what angers him, stops for a long moment before claiming not to remember. In Woods’ words, “It was almost like that interviewer wanted access to this interior emotional space, and Basquiat was like, ‘I’m not actually going to grant you that,’ or, ‘There’s so much shit that could make me angry, I can’t even make a list for you.’”
Rapper Saba joins the song, delivering a verse that shows his talent for playing with cadence and rhythm to create intrigue in his storytelling. The anger of these Black artists is captured beautifully in the pre-chorus as Woods’ soft and graceful voice comes through with a startling and powerful anger.
Overall, my favourite line in the album comes from “EARTHA.” Named after singer and actor Eartha Kitt, Woods closes the track by repeating the line “Who’s gonna share my love for me with me?” The self-love and self-assurance channeled from Kitt is empowering. As Woods pays homage to artists of colour through each track, LEGACY! LEGACY! is both an inspired and inspiring album.
IGOR by Tyler, the Creator
IGOR is an emotionally wrenching love story from Tyler, the Creator. Throughout his previous four albums, Tyler’s growth and maturity as an artist has definitely been prevalent. With IGOR, he documents the feeling of falling in, and then out, of love. Production-wise, this album is brilliant. It transcends hip-hop to incorporate psychedelic rock and even synthwave influences.
The track “EARFQUAKE” is a clear example of how Tyler is able to draw from his love pains to create a danceable jam. Despite this maturity, the dark and sinister storytelling of “NEW MAGIC WAND” calls back to Tyler’s earlier work, as he describes a murder plot prompted by his obsessive infatuation. The obsessive romanticism continues in “PUPPET,” a track that is both sweet and disturbing as Tyler navigates this unhealthy love.
Later in the album, the track “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE” is both comical and compelling. The mixing of audio snippets in the chorus, where the track title is repeatedly shrieked, makes this a mega-salty sadboi track, showing that he can be both a drama queen and a goofball who doesn’t need to take himself too seriously.
A moment in the album that I found to be especially striking comes from “GONE, GONE / THANK YOU”. The chorus of part II repeats “Thank you for the love, thank you for the joy / But I will never want to fall in love again.” The gratitude mixed with heartbreak is tender and tragic, indicating Tyler’s strong ability to convey emotion through both lyricism and musical production.
While IGOR also includes unlisted features from artists such as Solange and Kanye West, the treasure of this album is clearly Tyler and his talent as a musician in producing, writing, and arranging an entire body of work.