5 Feminist Albums That Got Us Through November

An illustration with three female singers looking at the viewer. On the left, a woman with blue skin and green braids represents Lotic. In the middle is Adele, a white woman with long straight blonde hair. Right is Megan Thee Stallion with red skin.

(Illustration by Jennifer Van Meter)

As the holidays approach, these releases touch on themes of family, love, and relationships. Adele embarks on a journey of self-discovery on her latest, Summer Walker attempts to heal from a breakup, and Melanie Charles dedicates her album to the work of Black women. This month’s list will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, so get ready to feel a little vulnerable—but it’s worth it. As always, happy listening!

Megan Thee Stallion, Something for Thee Hotties

Megan Thee Stallion - Thot Shit [Official Video]

{1501 Certified Entertainment/300 Entertainment}
Release date: October 29, 2021

On her latest mixtape, Megan Thee Stallion reminds everyone why she’s the “hottest” rapper out right now. Featuring a collection of freestyles and unreleased songs, Something for Thee Hotties finds the Houston rapper repping her southern roots, much like she used to in her earlier music. Her Pimp C-inspired delivery paired with her hard-hitting flows and raunchy lyrics shine throughout the 21-track project. She even includes interludes from popular southern rappers like Juicy J, Paul Wall, Lil Keke, VickeeLo, and Dino BTW. On “Southside Forever Freestyle,” which she posted on social media earlier this year, Megan emphasizes that she’ll always be “young Tina Snow still going hard on a hoe,” later bragging: “Southside shit forever hoe/ Get a Brisk tea from the Texaco/ Rocking booty shorts to the corner store,” she brags. “Warning” is another highlight, with the kind of boasting that’s become her signature—this time about being too rich to hang with broke men. “Do I look like a bitch that need a couple hundred dollars?” she sneers. Something for Thee Hotties is Megan Thee Stallion’s imperative return to the southern rap style that made her famous while, once again, cementing her status as the ultimate hot girl rapper.

Lotic, Water

Lotic - Come Unto Me

{Houndstooth}
Release date: October 29, 2021

Water is an intimate and delicate delight. Berlin-based producer Lotic’s most recent album is full of synths and soft melodies that sound both peaceful and alarming. “Come Unto Me,” a nearly six-minute-long track, pairs falsetto vocals, and electronic beats for a vibe that’s as welcoming as it is haunting. On “Diamond,” high-pitched melodies and tempo changes produce a cathartic effect. Most of the songs of the 9-track album are longer than four minutes, and that seems to be intentional, given the soothing energy of its namesake. Water often symbolizes a rebirth, and Lotic makes listeners feel that on her most intimate album to date.

Summer Walker, Still Over It

Summer Walker - Ex For A Reason (ft. JT From City Girls) [Official Music Video]

{LVRN/Interscope}
Release date: November 5, 2021

On Still Over It, Summer Walker joins the pantheon of singers who have turned their heartbreak into melodrama in a masterful fashion. Her sophomore album details her chaotic and highly publicized relationship and breakup with esteemed Atlanta producer London on da Track, with whom she shares a child. Taking a page from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which was rumored to be partially inspired by Hill’s breakup with bandmate Wyclef Jean, Walker wants us to know that she’s talking about her ex (“London, did you screw this bitch for real?” she sings on “Bitter”). Walker punches this message repetitively over 20 tracks, painting an epic saga of emotional abuse. “How could you make me spend my whole fucking pregnancy alone?” she charges on “4th Baby Mama.” Her intensity is only slightly dampened in the slower songs “You Don’t Know Me” and “Constant Bullshit.”

Melanie Charles, Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women

Melanie Charles, Marlena Shaw - Woman Of The Ghetto (Reimagined)

{Verve Records}
Release date: November 12, 2021

Melanie Charles is here to uplift the work of Black women that’s often overshadowed. On Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women, the Brooklyn-bred jazz artist honors legendary Black women in the genre, whose artistry and impact have historically been ignored. The album includes remixes of Sara Vaughan’s “Detour Ahead,” Marlena Shaw’s “Woman of the Ghetto,” and Dinah Washington’s “What a Difference.” Charles wants listeners to know that her work is for and by Black women: “Brave, free, Black, me. I am a woman of the ghetto,” she sings. On “Pay Black Women interlude,” a conversational break, Charles praises Black women who know their worth. Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women, a depressing yet candid statement, seeks to center the transformative labor of Black women that’s long overdue for recognition.

The cover of the Plastic issue of Bitch magazine with the text "Get the magazine that started it all:"

Adele, 30

Adele - Easy On Me (Official Video)

{Columbia Records}
Release date: November 19, 2021

Adele has made her career writing tender and beautiful lyrics about romance and heartbreak, but somehow her most recent release provides an even deeper layer of emotional complexity on vulnerability. 30 feels like her most intimate album to date. Adele introduces listeners to her fears and desires like she is bringing us along in her self-discovery. In the soulful and groovy “My Little Love,” the British singer speaks to her son about her divorce: “I wanted you to have everything I never had/ I’m so sorry if what I’ve done makes you feel sad,” she laments. On the bluesy “Woman Like Me,” she scolds her ex-husband for being careless and wasting her time: “Complacency is the worst trait to have, are you crazy?/ You ain’t never had, ain’t never had a woman like me.” The best song is “To Be Loved,” which has a piano interlude reminiscent of the riff on Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You.” It captures the risks of love: “To be loved and love at the highest count/ Means to lose all the things I can’t live without.” The tune perfectly underlines 30’s theme—-the tedious yet fulfilling journey to achieve happiness.

 

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by DeAsia Paige
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DeAsia Paige is a St. Louis–based freelance writer whose work covers music, culture, and identity. She’s been published in VICE, the Nation, Blavity, and Okayplayer. She firmly believes that there’s a Real Housewives of Atlanta scene for everything. You can find her on Twitter @deasia_paige.