Whether they’re sticking to subway seats or undulating in a sundress, thick thighs, arms, calves, bellies, and ankles are blessing public space in the heat of summer. “It’s hot but I’m not bothered,” Miss Eaves raps in the video for her breakout 2017 hit “Thunder Thighs,” an anthem that celebrates all bodies in defiance of rampant fatphobia. More than a million people watched the “Thunder Thighs” video, in which a crew of women boasted about the area between their knees and pelvises. And now Miss Eaves’s full album, Feminasty, is here to taunt and flaunt some more.
Taking a cue from Beyoncé, Miss Eaves sneezed on the beat and the beat got thiccer.
Feminasty comes into the world during a political moment where vocal dissent is discouraged, especially when the criticism comes from women of color. The title purposefully evokes the politicized identifier “nasty” (as in “nasty woman”) as well as Janet Jackson’s “Miss-Jackson-if-you’re-nasty” legacy. An effortless crossover between the early-2000’s electropop bass (think Gravy Train!!!!) and late-’80s rap (think MC Lyte), Feminasty is a personal pep rally. A daily dose of Miss Eaves has immediate benefits, building up a force field of magic femme-ergy in a world meant to crush those of us who deviate from standards of “normal” in appearance, identity, and ability. Each track offers a counter-spell to combat societal poisons such as misogyny, body-shaming, weight surveillance, internet trolls, and sexual shame.
Much like Issa’s mirror monologues on Insecure, Feminasty illustrates the power of speaking our truths even if they aren’t socially accepted. Aptly, “Hump Day” was recently featured on the HBO show. The upbeat masturbation hymn is the soundtrack to a scene between Issa and her vibrator, a common experience rarely depicted in television. As the camera rests on Issa’s face, Miss Eaves raps “Hand down my pants I flick the bean/ My boo ghost but I don’t need him/ Five digits gonna make me squirm and scream/This is all on me.” Ghosting is usually someone showing up to collect on sexual benefits while avoiding emotional investment, but the buy-in is different when that person is a friend. On “Friend Zone” Miss Eaves raps about a sex buddy who is a friend and the expectations of emotional sterility. “So chill when we’re intimate/ So cold when we talk about feelings/ So hot as I gaze at the ceilings.”
Recognizing the struggles of dating, specifically when dating men, Miss Eaves directs more than a few tracks at trolls, mansplainers, and fuckboys both online and IRL. On “Hi H8ter,” Miss Eaves claps back at trolls who give their “two cents” with a new take on the hand-clap-game classic “Miss Mary Mack.”
In the video for “Fuccboi Salute,” a group of friends gather to mock text messages full of uckboy catchphrases like “u up?” and “just saw this” to “wanna smash?” and “I want u bare down there.” While sporting emoticons as earrings with a matching emoji-print skirt and googly-eye choker, Miss Eaves raps “My girl team my girl clique/ Knocking you down, we’re not taking none of this shit” before laying down a final insult, “I’m stumped how/ This silly one pump chump is trying now/ To step to Eaves. But bitch bow down/ I’ll take the leash and put this hound in the pound.”
Miss Eaves’s talents are raw and unapologetically ambitious: She directs all of her videos, designs her own merch, and is the founder of “The Every Body Project,” a style blog that aims to expand the media’s “narrow portrayal of #beauty.” But being strong does not necessarily mean being alone. Much of Feminasty appears to denounce the longing for a relationship, but a closer listen reveals that Miss Eaves is arguing quite the opposite: She’s just refusing to settle for anything less than mutual respect and trust.
On “Boyfriend Material,” she fantasizes about ditching the dating game and taking complete control by building a boyfriend from scratch. With the new liberation of not relying on anyone else, Miss Eaves triumphs, “Now I’m only swiping left/ ‘Cause mama deserves the best.”