Alicia Keys sixth studio album, “Here”, is like no other she’s done before. The singer and songwriter has matured beyond standard pop beats and instead embodies a gritty, New York hip-hop style, for her latest collection.
Keys joins the current wave of socially conscious music we’ve seen recently from artists such as Solange Knowles, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance the Rapper–adding political issues to music in her track “Holy War”. But “Here” isn’t just about politics, it also touches on ideas about family, growing up in an impoverished community and self-confidence.
Keys invites listeners into the intimate structure of her family in “Blended Family” where she speaks directly to her stepson telling him and the world the relationship between his mother and her is good–he is loved–and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for their family.
While Keys has matured musically she remains true to herself by continuing to encourage empowerment and self-confidence in girls with her latest empowering track “Girl Can’t Be Herself No More” which is a point blank statement to everyone, doing otherwise, to let people live their lives. The track, which comes after a conversational interlude in which men discuss insecurities, women’s bodies, and their thoughts on women’s stretchmarks, ties into Keys’ controversial “No Make-up” movement.
“…the press is more interested in me not wearing makeup than the fact that 65 million girls worldwide don’t have access to education. But what’s interesting is this insane standard of perfection women are held to. Whatever feels empowering is what a woman should do, and that’s the most important message. ” Keys said in an interview with Rolling Stone
Alicia Keys is cool AF–she made tomboy chic a thing and now she’s fighting to make being you, naturally you, cool too. Now that’s powerful!