Why Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales” is a feminist masterpiece.

If you haven’t listened to Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales”, truly, what are you doing sis? After listening to this beautiful album about 3,000 times, I have gathered that Heaux Tales exemplifies everything that we should embrace as feminists. This 14 track album features 8 songs and 6 tales, “Heaux Tales”, from Jazmine’s close friends. There are so many opinions about how women should act in their love lives but the truth is that we all have different desires in love and those varying desires should be embraced. Jazmine Sullivan does a magnificent job at showing the multi-faceted nature of love and relationships. This is my track-by-track analysis of Heaux Tales through the feminist lens. 

Bodies (Intro)

“I keep on piling on bodies on bodies on bodies yeah you getting sloppy girl.”

The story presented in the song is about a woman who clearly has a lot of bodies (aka sexual partners). The individual cannot seem to get it together in terms of being to keep track of who she’s slept with. This song shows us that the process of dating is not always glamorous nor a straight line. Oftentimes, women are looked down upon for having too many “bodies” but that same energy isn’t kept for men.

Pick Up Your Feelings

“New phone? Who is this? Contact, don’t exist”

If this isn’t the best post-breakup song, I don’t know what is. Most people expect others to sit around and sulk in sadness after a breakup. And although feelings of disappointment are always valid it’s nice to see someone level-up and act like they don’t know the person who did them wrong. There is empowerment in that because it shows a lack of dependency. 

Put It Down

“He live with his mama but I treat him like a king, every time he come around he got me acting like a fiend, he asking me for money, I can never tell him no.”

Now Jazmine, I personally DID NOT feel that but if this works for other women, I support it. This song tells a story about a woman who is “dick-matized”. Since this man puts it down, she just wants to treat him like a king. We all know someone who has felt like this about their significant other and we still love them.

On It ( & Ari Lennox)

“I want to sit on it. So tell me why you deserve it.”

Two words: Sexual. Liberation. “On it” tells the story of two women who want to get nasty with their significant others and they are taking the reins. Oftentimes, we experience sexually charged music from the perspective of a man but it is always revolutionary to hear that perspective from a woman, especially, two women who sing their face off to express their greatest sexual desires.

Price Tags (feat. Anderson .Paak)

“That money make the pu$$y wet”

This song tells the story about someone who is impressed by a partner with money. The trope of the gold digger is an unfortunate stereotype that follows women, especially black women, but there is nothing wrong with seeking financial security from a significant other.  

Lost One

“Don’t have too much fun without me. Don’t have too much fun. Please don’t forget about me. Try not to love no one”

This song is heavy and it makes me sad. “Lost One” tells a story from the perspective of someone who lost a person special to them. It’s hard to admit when we’re wrong and that we took someone for granted. This song is raw and vulnerable.

The Other Side

“Can’t wait to be rich, want a better life. Diamonds, cars, and trips all that money can buy. I just wanna live on the other side”

The character in this story aspires to live a glamorous life that is the opposite of the life that they are currently living. She expresses moving to Atlanta, finding a rapper, and getting a new body. There are certain lengths that women will go to achieve the life that they want and that’s okay.

Girl Like Me (feat H.E.R)

“You must’vе wanted somethin’ different. Still don’t know what I was missin’. What you asked I would’ve given. It ain’t right how these hoes be winnin’. Why they be winnin’?”

Finally, we have “Girl Like Me” which talks about not feeling worthy after being cheated on. We live in a world with photoshopped IG models and for some women and men, it is hard to feel confident. Individuals who may not have the ideal body type or “look” at the moment may feel lesser than and this song honors those feelings.

Heaux Tales shows that whether you’re have sex with multiple partners, move-on beautifully or not so beautifully after a breakup, whether it’s being envious of ig models or wanting to chase a glamorous life, it is all valid and as feminists we should all respect and hold space for women with those desires and realities. Go listen to the album. You won’t be disappointed.

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