Jazmine Sullivan‘s latest offering, Heaux Tales, has been praised by fans for its explicitly lyrical sexual exploration.
The soul singer recently named fellow recording artists Cardi B and Lizzo as sources of inspiration for the sound and support of womanhood on the EP.
In an interview with Insider, Sullivan said that the music and personas of the rapper and singer, both Grammy winners, encouraged her to be unapologetic on the new project.
“Cardi B and Lizzo have definitely influenced me to just be comfortable with myself and put it all out there,” Sullivan said.
“That’s what I want for every woman. You open up a new level of just amazingness when you accept who you are and you just don’t care what anybody has to say. That’s what they make me want to do. And that’s what I wanted to do with the project.”
Cardi B has garnered mainstream success with her unabashed celebration of female sexuality and independence with multi-platinum smashes like “WAP,” “Please Me” and “Money.”
Lizzo gained notoriety by embracing her full-figured physique and challenging beauty norms all while making the hits “Juicy” and “Tempo” that call on everyone to be happy with their bodies.
Sullivan stated that two tracks, in particular, draw on Cardi and Lizzo: “Put It Down,” a song that tells the story of a woman mesmerized by the sexual prowess of a broke man, and conversely, “Price Tags,” a collaboration with multi-talent Anderson .Paak that’s centered on a woman who needs money and expensive gifts in order to keep her sexually engaged.
“Sex is a thing and I want us to be comfortable. People, men, try to want us to portray ourselves a certain way,” Sullivan said. “And what we want and what we desire, people don’t really care about. They don’t care about it. So, we have to stand in that and be like, ‘This is what I want, you better give it to me.’”
The “Need You Bad” singer’s confidence can be seen on full display in her 2021 BET Awards performance, singing her explicit duet with Ari Lennox, “On It.”
Heaux Tales is an EP in which Sullivan uses her songs and interludes to tell the stories of various women with differing views and complex experiences around sex and relationships. It peaked at number one on the Billboard R&B Album chart in January.
It is her second album to reach the top spot, succeeding her 2015 release, Reality Show.
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Matthew Allen thegrio.com
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