Jazmine Sullivan has released Heaux Tales, the follow-up to 2015's Reality Show, and the first excellent release of 2021.
Led by a string of singles in 2020 (including the standout "Pick Up Your Feelings" which I am disappointed I missed last year), this project is a strong, confident release that encapsulates so much of what it means to be a Black women in America in these times. When speaking on the record, Sullivan said: “The truth is, women of all ages have been called a ‘heaux’ at some point in life, whether deserved or not, by some man trying to put us in our place; a place designed to keep us under control, out of the way and usually beneath them. Women are over feeling ashamed about the decision we have made, or chose to make, in regards to our bodies.” On the album's final track, Sullivan delivers an impassioned message over an aching guitar line that feels like an open testimony to those who've wronged her before and her ability to conquer her emotions and still persevere. At first, it may seem like a moment of defeat as Sullivan states that this is what men have driven women to become, but she flips the ownership and takes control of her own destiny.