Monday Music: Black women artists to crush mental barriers

Songs to bring out your most joyous self

“Monday Music” in orange block text on a yellow rectangular background with rounded corners and an orange border.
Monday Music: your weekly themed playlist. Image courtesy of The Peak.

By: Nercya Kalino, Staff Writer

Summer is a time when many of us do our best to come out of our shells and enjoy the sun. We have a need to be closer to the light before mentally preparing ourselves for the cold and gloom of the fall. To me, summer is about living and movement, to bring in the light of who you are. These songs hold so much weight for me that my fear of being seen evaporates and I’m reminded to take up space, prioritize joy, and live my purpose. I hope they do the same for you.


Forever” by Sa-Roc

Image credit: Rhymesayers Entertainment

Make this your morning song. It will help you stay grounded and exhale the anxiety that comes with facing the world each day. Sa-Roc has an edge and this is why I love her music — sometimes the soul needs a strong and powerful voice to affirm its human flaws. Her raps draw on her own life and this song particularly reminds me that I am good enough. The line, “And mom told me ‘Stay woke’ ’cause all gold ain’t glistening,” reminds me of my mom telling me how the world will hurt me but I need to keep faith in myself and my purpose. 


Energy” By Sampa the Great

Image credit: Rahki & Silent Jay

Have you ever felt nervous about hanging out in the sun? I sometimes find myself feeling like my presence in certain spaces is disjointed. This song breaks me free from that fearful mentality. Sampa the Great’s poetic writing focuses on tuning into the mind and soul to cultivate your own identity. She often vocalizes these thoughts with heavy instrumentals that amplify the impact of her words. She says, “Feminine energy almost mathematical, you can’t really sum up what is infinite and valuable.” This is your call to embrace femininity in its pure form and take as much space as you need, especially this summer. 


FEMALE” By Sampa the Great

Image credit: Godriguez

I dedicate this song to all the Black women that sometimes forget to put on their crowns; summer is creeping up on us and the last thing we want is to see a queen without her tiara on. Let this song remind us of “big bold women.” As we walk into summer, let that crown stay on. Let’s not underestimate our own abilities and avoid getting in our own way because of doubt and fear. 


3AM” Baauer, AJ Tracey, Jae Stephens

Image credit: Baauer

This song screams summer sunset drives and parties with its mix of hip-hop and Caribbean and UK grime undertones. Jae Stephens collaborated with musician AJ Tracey and producer Baauer. This song is a good listen on bright days at the beach surrounded by good friends who know how to vibe to good music. What drives the song is how well AJ Tracey’s rapping complements Baauer’s instrumentals and Jae Stephens’ mellow voice, achieving a balance in the song. This collaboration has attracted a lot more much-deserved attention to Jae Stephens’ soulful music. I suggest that if you like this song you might want to listen to “got it like that,” where we get to experience her approach to R&B.


Blessings on Blessings” By Oshun

Image credit: OSHUN

We have to maintain our pace in the summer. The party life is nice but we do not want to get carried away. What better way to get things done on a summer work day than to listen to music that reminds you that you are awesome? Oshun sings, “Everything will manifest because I wrote it / I’m hella sweet because I spoke it, notice I / am the sugar, honey, ice tea.” This is the part when you realize blessings on blessings come to those who stay in their lane, even in summer. Yes, we want to have fun, but let’s not forget our responsibilities and kickstart the summer with the right attitude.