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Allied Arts & Media

Just to Say I Love You: A Mother’s Day Playlist

Photo: Jonatas-Domingos

When you think of Mother’s Day you may experience visions of spa dates, flower bouquets, decorated cards and brunch with a round of mimosas. However, these are odd times where the spas are closed, mail arrives slower than usual and your waiter/waitress appears at your door with lukewarm meals wrapped in plastic. With the current social distancing measures in place some might not even get to hug their loved ones on this day, but there are so many other ways to give mom thanks that you can enjoy together from anywhere; music, for example.

Whether you get together in the living room over banana bread and Tik Tok ideas or sing along over a video app, here’s a 10 song playlist that goes out to all the mama bears to show appreciation for all that they do each and every day.


  1. Kanye West – “Hey Mama”

Over soothing “La la’s” sampled from Donal Leace’s “Today Won’t Come Again” Kanye pours love, devotion and thanks into rhymes for his late mother Donda West. The song appears on his 2005 album Late Registration, which was released just two years before she passed away. Having been extremely close with his mom Kanye talks about their relationship; the ups, the downs, her unwavering support and Ye wanting nothing, but to give her the world.

 

  1. UMI – “Mother”

Singer/songwriter UMI casts sunshine, the ocean and a myriad of animals as the stars of this music video alongside clips of her and her mother having a picnic somewhere green. The visuals act as a celebration of not only mothers, but also Mother Earth and all the life it provides.

 

  1. Jhené Aiko ft. Namiko Love – “Sing To Me”

Okay, tissues will be needed here! In 2018 Jhene Aiko and her daughter Namiko (nine at the time) performed this song on VH1’s Dear Mama: A Love Letter To Moms television special. With a barrage of “I love you’s” and lines like “You are my world, my favourite girl” the song is as sweet and touching as you’d expect from a mother and daughter duet.

 

4. Beyoncé – “Ring Off”

As private as Beyoncé has been about her personal life throughout the years, her music allows her fans a glimpse of the woman behind the bodysuits and perfectly choreographed dance moves. With a nod to her hit song “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” the ballad is addressed to Beyoncé’s mom who, in 2011, went through a divorce with the pop idol’s father after he was allegedly unfaithful. Beyoncé praises her mom for making the difficult decision to move on and promises better days ahead.

 

  1. Ashanti – “Mother”

Ashanti showers her mother with compliments, acknowledgment and love on this track. If you can’t find the words yourself, this could be the perfect tune to sing to mom. That is, if you can hit all the high notes.

 

  1. Chance The Rapper – “Hey Ma”

Here we find Chicago-born Chance The Rapper kicking it at his childhood home everywhere from the front steps to the roof. Photographs from his youth are held up in front of the exact spot they were originally taken years before. The song isn’t just about Chance’s own mother, but all the women who’d played important roles in his life, most significantly, his grandmother. He’s playful throughout in the visuals boasting about his success and how he’s finally able to give something back to those who gave everything for him to get there.

 

  1. Queen Naija – “Mama’s Hand”

Youtube star and singer/songwriter Queen Naija shares her family with us on “Mama’s Hand”. The song and video are an ode to her son who she beams at over a video call in the intro as they say “I love you” and “I miss you” to each other. The ending finds Queen Naija getting cozy with her boyfriend and Youtube partner Clarence White, while she was pregnant with her second child.

 

  1. The Shirelles – “Mama Said”

Get up a dance to this dash of 60s doo-wap! As it is, unfortunately, only two minutes long you’re going to want to put this one on loop.

 

  1. Meghan Trainor – “Mom”

This upbeat joint will have you bragging about mom all day long. “You might have a mom, she might be the bomb/ But ain’t nobody got a mom like mine,” sings Trainor. Included is an audio-clip of Meghan calling the song’s muse, Kelli Trainor, just to say she loves her.

 

  1. Ciara – “I Got You”

Dedicated to her son Future, Ciara coos the familiar melody of lullaby “Hush Little Baby” while sharing footage of them laughing and playing in the visuals for “I Got You”. New mommy at the time, Ciara incorporates these stunning photos of her cradling the newborn baby and heading home from the hospital all smiles. Throughout the song she promises to protect him and to always have his back.

I’m not crying, you are.


To listen to the playlist on Spotify, click here.

Happy Mother’s Day!


LiisBeth is an indie, all womxn-owned feminist media enterprise who is fuelled by reader donations.  If you enjoyed this playlist, share it!  And please consider supporting this work: [direct-stripe value=”ds1554685140411″]


Related Reading

https://www.liisbeth.com/2020/02/25/family-first-meet-the-fecs-feminist-in-residence-for-march-2020/

Categories
Allied Arts & Media

A Musical Ode to Sex & Body Positivism

Sadé Powell, LiisBeth Playlist Curator & Contributor, Urbanology

It would seem that since the beginning of time, ideas about sex and what it means to be sexy have been skewed by one force or another. The right time, the right person, the right size or shape. However, with more and more people becoming open to dialogue, taboos are slowly disappearing and the fear of judgment is loosening its grip. Forward-thinking representation has been portrayed in everything from social media to music to even television—and it’s about time.

One song after the next, this playlist challenges dated narratives about doing the do and standards of beauty. So, what are you waiting for? Slip on your sexiest underwear and dance fearlessly like everyone is watching.

 

CupcakKe, “Biggie Smalls”

Chicago rapper CupcakKe drops bars of self-love and positivity in “Biggie Smalls” where she addresses all those little insecurities that tend to keep women back from living their best life. Praising fat rolls, stretch marks and little booties, CupcakKe wants you to know she loves you, big or small.

 

Princess Nokia, “Tomboy”

Tomboys unite on the streets of New York City flaunting little titties, fat bellies and superhero underwear. Princess Nokia checks the rap game for its over-glorification of women in bikinis with big boobs and small waists who always seem to emerge from a swimming pool somewhere. “Tomboy” highlights the girls who love oversized clothes, playing sports and who will still “take yo man.”

 

Summer Walker, “Girls Need Love”

Summer Walker knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. The Atlanta, GA–based singer speaks about women being honest with their desires in the sultry charm of her lyrics.

 

Teyana Taylor, “3 Way”

Teyana Taylor has been happily married to her husband Iman Shumpert since 2016, and she isn’t shy about what they do in the bedroom. The title is self-explanatory, but let’s just say this power couple likes to keep things spicy.

 

The Internet, “Special Affair/Curse”

Syd Tha Kyd is as sensual and alluring as ever leading the vocals for “Special Affair” while her bandmates conjure the captivating rhythm. The lyrics depict Syd crooning a compelling invitation to an unnamed female with promises of Patron and a good time. The video splits up into three songs including “Curse” and “Palace,” which features a surprise verse by fellow Odd Future member Tyler, The Creator.

 

Jessie Reyez, “Body Count”

Filmed in her hometown of Toronto, this video finds Jessie Reyez being led to her ultimate demise after seemingly breaking some kind of societal standard. The Salem-inspired visuals teleport you to a time when women were sentenced to burn at the stake after being accused of witchcraft or behaving in a manner their community didn’t agree with. Reyez explores themes of sexual freedom, double standards and judgment with “Body Count.”

 

Little Mix ft. Sharaya J, “Strip”

Pop group Little Mix makes a statement with the visuals for “Strip.” The quartet enlists a range of women to stand by them and reject the slurs often associated with women and their bodies. The song aims to empower women to rethink what’s considered sexy and love themselves anyway.

 

Lizzo, “Scuse Me”

Lizzo is the self-love goddess that everyone should be listening to. The rapper/singer mixes just enough spice and radiance into a video that celebrates body positivity. After releasing the video in 2017, Lizzo took to Twitter and shared the meaning behind the song: “Scuse Me celebrates the BODY. I wrote this song to immortalize my curves.”

 

Sevdaliza, “Human”

There are quite a few metaphors that unfold in this Iranian-Dutch songstress’s music visuals. In “Human,” Sevadaliza can be seen performing a dance before an audience of suited men as the words “I am human” are repeated in chorus. The singer confronts the notion that women are objects for the entertainment of men as she speaks about her body as just that, a body and not something to be constantly sexualized.

 

Troye Sivan, “Bloom”

Troye Sivan, an Australian Youtube star turned pop idol, revels in his sexual identity on his sophomore album Bloom, which also debuted a song and video by the same name. In “Bloom,” Sivan uses imaginative language about flowers and gardens to possibly insinuate bottoming for the first time. The line, “Put gas into the motor and boy I’ll meet you right there,” is pretty hard evidence of the special affair. No pun intended.

 


Stream or download the playlist on Liisbeth’s Spotify link here.

Want more LiisBeth playlists?  We have 8 of them! Here are two more as samples!

https://www.liisbeth.com/2018/03/15/a-change-makers-playlist/

https://www.liisbeth.com/2017/07/11/summer-reset-playlist-feminist-entrepreneurs/

Categories
Allied Arts & Media Our Voices

Listen Up! July Playlist for Feminist Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship and transformative work is hard, socially, financially, and personally. There are surprises and mind benders at every turn.  To succeed, you sometimes have to get out of your comfort zone. This reality makes LiisBeth’s summer playlist ideal listening for feminist entrepreneurs.

If you’ve somehow found yourself suddenly lost, cursing the heavens, or just looking for some emerging artist music that challenges you, aids reflection, and inspires, then take a deep breath, turn off your phone, close the curtains in the middle of the day, turn up the volume, and steep in the incredible force of raw, powerful, creative female energy.

This playlist is curated exclusively for LiisBeth by Urbanology’s Sadé Powell.

 

The Sorority ft. Leila Day, “Ladies Night”

For this past International Women’s Day, these ladies of The Sorority from the 6ix got together for a good ol’ fashioned ladies’ night. The video pays tribute to the original 1997 song of the same name by Left Eye, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, Da Brat and Lil’ Kim. In this version, rappers Haviah Mighty, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis, and pHoenix Pagliacci deliver bar after bar of solidarity with all women, Muslims, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Denai Moore, “Does It Get Easier?”

In her most recent video, Jamaican-born, London-based songstress Denai Moore uses her sweet, soothing voice to ponder one of the many questions we ask ourselves as we crawl through everyday obstacles: “Does it get easier? Does life get easier?” Moore addresses both the good and bad aspects of life while rejecting neither. The visuals juxtapose images of different family relationships with that of Moore’s own family to portray how similar we really are.

Jorja Smith, “Beautiful Little Fools”

There’s a line in the book The Great Gatsby in which the lead female character, Daisy, talks about her daughter: “I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” It was this line that inspired UK singer Jorja Smith to challenge that testimony through music. In “Beautiful Little Fools,” a video released on International Women’s Day, Smith addresses the social limitations that are placed on women every day.

Willow Smith, “Female Energy”

At 13 years young, Willow Smith plays within the atmosphere of her female energy as she makes the transition from childhood to womanhood in this psychedelic music video. Now at age 16, Smith has clearly shown growth into the realm of neo-soul in contrast to her 2010 pop debut with “Whip My Hair.” Mature well beyond her years, Smith demonstrates that the understanding of self doesn’t have to come later in life.

Junglepussy, “ME”

If there was a way to put a selfie in video form, “ME” would be it. However, it’s not only the surface image that you see; it’s what leads up to the selfie and makes up its beauty without the need for filters. The Brooklyn-bred Shayna McHayle better known as Junglepussy illustrates herself as carefree and unapologetic as she sways from a tire swing in the forest, stars in her own infomercial, and becomes the life of an underground party. McHayle even takes time to pay homage to some of her biggest inspirations such as Erykah Badu, Missy Elliot and Lil’ Kim.

FKA twigs, “M3LL155X”

The five-song visual EP titled “M3LL155X” (pronounced “Melissa”) is accompanied by four hypnotically beautiful videos layered with complex themes about domination, submission, femininity, and fluidity. It is undoubtedly a world created by American singer-songwriter and producer FKA twigs, a woman who is often misunderstood and simplified. In “M3LL155X,” FKA twigs shows us just a piece of who she is, but she doesn’t make it easy for anyone to label or define her.

Janelle Monáe, “Cold War”

American singer Janelle Monáe gets up close and personal in the visual for “Cold War,” a moving single that was shot all in one take. Shortly after the minute and a half mark, Monáe gets emotional while mouthing the words, “I was made to believe there’s something wrong with me.” Before performing the song at the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Concert, she explains that the lyrics depict a time when she didn’t feel empowered being an African-American woman. She closes by stating that she hopes the song will inspire other women and young girls to find their power.

Laura Mvula, “Phenomenal Woman”

Laura Mvula whisks us away to the beautiful district of Bo-Kaap in Cape Town, South Africa, where the streets are vibrant and alive with colour. Mvula bellows from the depth of her diaphragm, “You are a phenomenal woman!” while surrounded by some pretty fierce, fly ladies grooving to the sound of her voice and the powerful words of her song. In a press release, the British singer had this to say about the track: “We are the givers of life, we are the children bearers, the nurturers, the heroines. We are extraordinary in our ordinariness. We fly, we fight, we are ‘Phenomenal Woman.’” The song was initially inspired by a poem of the same name written by the late Maya Angelou.

Jessie Reyez, “Gatekeeper”

Jessie Reyez’s “Gatekeeper” is a short film that takes us behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a woman in the music industry, you know, the not-so-glamorous part that’s riddled with misogyny and sexism. For Reyez, it’s been a jarring reality.

Kehlani, “Bright”

R&B singer Kehlani Parrish was shocked when her project “You Should Be Here” was up for Best Urban Contemporary Album in 2015 even though it was actually a mixtape. The song “Bright” stood out amongst its peers as not being a song about falling in or out with a significant other, but about falling in love with yourself.


Additional playlists from LiisBeth:

A Cure for Chaos: A Playlist to Feed Your Heart and Mind

Categories
Body, Mind & Pleasure

A Cure for Chaos: A Playlist To Feed Your Heart and Mind

As countless instances of hatred and discrimination from across the world flood news headlines and conversations, it almost seems like the idea of peace is hanging on by a thread. One thing that remains universal, however, is the magic of music and how it continues to bring people together despite their differences.

Now it’s possible that the world could literally be crumbling before our eyes, but let’s press pause on the panic button and check out 10 songs that promote empowerment, equality, and human rights that may help restore your faith in humanity.

Amaal Nuux, “Who Are We”

Somali-Canadian singer Amaal Nuux shares words of unity through her tantalizing anthem, “Who Are We,” the second single she released late last year after taking a four-year hiatus from music. Learn more about this single at Urbanology.

 

Austra, “Future Politics”

Toronto band Austra imagines a better future in politics and humanity with powerful lyrics that are just as gripping as the song’s visuals.

 

TiKA the Creator, “Tenfold”

The very image of radiance, Toronto-based artist TiKA the Creator paints a picture of solidarity for Black female creatives within the city in her single “Tenfold.”

 

A Tribe Called Red ft. Saul Williams, “The Virus”

Prominent Indigenous music group A Tribe Called Red teams up with poet/musician Saul Williams for a politically charged project filled with climatic drums and a riveting mix of vocal elements.

 

Kimmortal, “Brushing By Heaven’s Shoulder (Remix)”

A queer, Filipina hailing from Vancouver, Kim Villagante, a.k.a. Kimmortal, combines zealous lyrics with her own animations to tackle issues faced by women of colour for “Brushing By Heaven’s Shoulder,” a remix off her 2014 debut album Sincerity.

 

Maiko Watson, “Everyman”

Based on a poem her mother wrote, Guyanese-Canadian singer-songwriter Maiko Watson croons over guitar strums while recounting the 2012 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.

 

Petra Glynt, “Sour Paradise”

Inspired by anarchist and poet Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, musical artist Petra Glynt creates psychedelic yet militant-style visuals that urge for a drastic change in the world amongst the constant displays of discrimination and inequality.

 

Lizzo, “My Skin”

Self-proclaimed feminist Lizzo is constantly promoting self-love and empowerment in her music and “My Skin” is one of the many that stand out. The Minneapolis artist strips down to a plain bodysuit, wearing minimal makeup and her natural curls to show her adoration for the skin she’s in. To learn more about Lizzo, check out her interview with Urbanology.

 

Aaradhna, “Brown Girl”

New Zealand native Aaradhna uses her sultry voice in “Brown Girl” to let the world know that she’s more than just the colour of her skin.

 

Shi Wisdom, “Young Gunner”

Shot in the alleys of Toronto, Shi Wisdom tells an all too familiar story with her powerful song “Young Gunner.” The lyrics and gritty visuals speak to the influx of instances where unarmed black males are gunned down by white men who are often in positions of authority. She spoke in depth with Urbanology about the single.

 

About the writer: Sadé Powell is a staff writer for Toronto-based publication Urbanology Magazine and gets her kicks from penning stories on various forms of music, technology, and her outrageously extensive list of other interests. Find her on Twitter at @playsade.