The Soundtrack of the Millennial Woman
Adina Howard was featured on TVOne’s UnSung recently. She was described as a female R.Kelly (solely based on music skills, of course) and the black Madonna. Both artists known for their bold takes on sex and sexual liberation. Howard’s songs “Freak Like Me” and “T-shirt and Panties”, in some people’s eyes, helped mold the ideal of the 90’s woman; independent, hardworking, and sexually liberated. This particular woman of that decade was defying the odds by making her needs be known to partners and being unapologetic about it in the process. Adina, Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, Spice Girls, and of course trailblazers Salt n Pepa were the soundtrack of the “90’s woman”, but who would you consider the women to make up your life’s soundtrack?
A millennial woman is in the age range of 21/22 and 36/37 years old (depending on the source). So the woman who came into technical adulthood (21 years old) in 2003 is now 37. They were possibly listening to Monica, Beyoncé, Myá, Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chix, Missy Elliott, and Lil’ Kim. All of these artists were entering adulthood as well and making music that coincided with what a lot of women were feeling and going through. From politics to heartache millennial women of the early 2000’s had strong voices that are still making noise today.
Now, the question is who are the voices for the latter end of the millennial spectrum? Today there are artists like Sza, Nicki Minaj, Kehlani, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Little Mix, Kash Doll, Ariana Grande, City Girls, and Summer Walker speaking on topics we, as younger millennial women are going through. From checking phones and social media accounts to being financially wealthy and not needing a man for a designer bag or house, these women are changing the perception of a millennial woman one song at a time.
There are songs like “Bodak Yellow” where Cardi B is being as braggadocious as male rappers and making it okay for women to talk highly of their accomplishments. “The Weekend” by Sza caused so much controversy because men (and some women) felt uneasy with a woman saying she was fine sharing a man because she only wanted one thing from him. Summer Walker’s “Girls Need Love” has moved women because she is singing what most of us have been thinking for a while. The latest song to shift gears is Ariana Grande’s “Break Up With Your Girlfriend I’m Bored”, the title explains it all. These women are saying what most are feeling and going through in this new era of the digital age.
All of the women mentioned have made and are making impacts on young women coming into their own. These are times women are coming into their own, so it doesn’t hurt to have a pretty cool soundtrack to go along with some turbulent times.