by Lisa Mrock
With a voice like a river, Jamila Woods has you floating on a cloud of critical acclaim generated by this rising poet/singer’s release of the near-universally adored HEAVN last year. Her gospel-inspired R&B discography bleeds with South Side Chicago pride, with songs such “Emerald St.” in which she asks a potential partner to bring over the mild sauce and coleslaw to have with her chicken wings, and is later joined by Saba who hopes for the night to never end. She’s joined by Chance the Rapper on The Lake Shore Drive-themed “LSD” with an offering of companionship, as long as they love her like she loves the lake. “Blk Girl Soldier” is her most famous assertion of her pride as a black woman and of the current struggles black women face, singing: “Look at what they did to my sister / Last century / Last week.” Her visceral talent can put anyone in awe, while keeping you feeling and thinking the whole time.