Jazmine Sullivan & Issa Rae Link Up For An Epic Conversation On Flexing Their Grown Woman Ish
Jazmine Sullivan is music royalty. She's rightfully deemed as one of the best voices to ever hit a studio, and she's also the queen of relatable music, a page out of Mary J. Blige's book. In fact, also similar to Mary, she makes some of the best music when she's her mental health is out of alignment. Ain't that a bitch?
At the top of this year, Sullivan released her highly, highly anticipated EP, Heaux Tales, and even put into the universe a potential collaboration with fellow GOAT, Issa Rae. "What I would love is if me and @IssaRae did a heauxtales short film, and I'd add a few extra songs. But I could just be dreaming. Nvm me. I'm crazy." Issa soon after answered, with five simple words: "Jazmine. Say the f–k less."
Jazmine. Say the fuck less. https://t.co/HRUwr6ZiJK
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) January 9, 2021
The rest, is Black women's history, as they sneaky linked up for an interview with ESSENCE, hopefully with more to come.
And listen, during this interview, they discussed it all. From being fans of the other, to learning to say 'no more' to the childish things (for now), as our good sis Jazmine says she is now all about therapy, new music, and creating spaces for Black women.
Continue reading for highlights of the cover story below!
On having a master plan...or not:
When Issa asked the crooner how her album Fearless came about, sis responded gracefully:
"I wish I could say I had a master plan, but I really didn't. I was just doing what felt natural, and luckily I had gotten with a record company and with people who allowed me to do that. But for me, I just wanted to express myself in the most natural way, and that means me writing my stories. So many of the songs at that time came from a lot of the childish stuff I was going through.
"For example, busting windows out of an ex's car and literally going straight from doing it to not being able to sleep. I was restless, because I was still in the moment. And so I just started writing about it. I let my girlfriends hear it, and they were like, 'Girl, do your thing—whatever this leads to.' And it led to my world opening up in such a different way…"
On telling Black women's stories:
"Before now, I had really just been concerned about expressing myself and getting my story out there—and people have connected to that. But for this project, it was important for me to share the stories of the women I love and hold dear to my heart. I feel like they are just as banging and dynamic as me. And I want to give space and opportunity to women, period…"
On making space for Black women:
Earlier this year, Jazmine went viral for hitting social media and teaching us all how to perfect the art of the vocal--a skill she is notorious for. As it turns out, she's just looking out for the culture.
"I feel like we get caught up in thinking there's 'only one' of us. There can only be one R&B superstar; there can only be one rap girl at a time. That's not true. God was not stingy when He was giving out gifts. And you're not the only person. There are many other women, especially Black women, who can do what you do. And let's all create spaces for each other to get out there and do that…"
On self-care and finding the right therapist:
"The first five minutes I was holding back tears, because I was like, 'Wow, this is the first time I'm actually speaking about my feelings. And it's not in a song. It doesn't require notes. I don't need to impress anybody with what it is that I'm actually doing. This is the first time.' So I was holding back tears even doing that. But after that first five minutes, I was surprised by how much I was enjoying speaking to somebody, and somebody listening to me, and I didn't have to perform to do it.
"But finding the right therapist is a process—because I went to therapy one time, years ago, and I hated the experience, and I feel like it stopped me from going for a long time. And then I found this new lady, and it's a totally different experience. So you have to find the right person for you, that you actually want to open up to. But once you do that, a weight lifts off of you—just from speaking, just from telling your story. And that's what Heaux Tales was. It's like, 'Tell it, girl. Tell it. Set yourself free.'"
So here for all of this, whew!
Sullivan is headlining this year's ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola®. The full conversation between Jazmine Sullivan and Issa Rae for the July/August 2021 issue of ESSENCE, will be available on newsstands + digital platforms June 29.
Featured image via Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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Masturdating & Why You Need More Of It In Your Life
“Just date yourself” could easily be crowned as the worst advice you could impart to a single woman. The all-too-common expression has become blanket advice for us dating folks and is typically met with eye-rolls and dismissal. In most cases, it’s coupled with the dash of “just work on yourself” and a sprinkle of “let love find you,” leaving some to believe that love enters our lives when we’re on the offense.
But in recent times, the conversation surrounding dating yourself has been reclaimed to mean something that’s less about turning ourselves into a DIY project and more about making time to give ourselves the love, attention, and quality time that we desire.
Masturdating & What Exactly Is Solo Dating
Solo dating, otherwise known as masturdating — as Urban Dictionary defines it, is the act of “going out alone” and enjoying one's own company without the presence of a romantic partner. The method is all about taking the time to explore your interests and passions while discovering acts of self-love that truly make your heart flutter.
While popular culture has made singleness out to be a sort of loveless life sentence, solo dating takes the focus from outward expectations to an inward commitment. It can be a liberating and empowering experience for women to go on solo dates, especially if they’re used to putting their own needs and desires aside for the sake of others.
When you participate in going on solo dates, you in turn, learn to appreciate and enjoy your own company, build self-confidence, and develop a stronger sense of self-awareness.
How Do You Go on a Solo Date?
Solo dates can take many different forms, depending on one's interests and preferences. For example, some women may enjoy going to a museum or art gallery on their own, while others may prefer taking a solo hike in nature or trying out a new restaurant.
Whatever your speed is, the key to a successful solo date is to approach it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Sans the lonely girl energy. Why? Because there’s no shame in being single and exercising the muscles of treating yourself.
Many single women understand that there’s no real substitute for romantic love when your desire is to be in a loving relationship. However, solo dates help you to stay in the practice of hopeful anticipation and set the standard for when you begin to get courted by potential suitors.
It’s not always about overindulgence and buying your way to the contentment of singlehood; but more so about taking the focus away from finding “the one” and creating moments with yourself that remind you that regardless of your relationship status, you are always the number one priority in your life.
So if you're feeling hesitant or unsure about solo dating and where to start, we’ve put together a list of four steps you can take to connect to master your dating needs through masturdating.
1. Start with some personal foreplay.
There’s nothing like getting yourself in the mood and the right headspace to take yourself out on the town. To prepare your mind for your solo date, start by taking a relaxing shower and follow up with your favorite body care and makeup routine. Light a candle. Play your favorite playlist and speak affirmations and compliments to yourself. Tell yourself how beautiful you look in that dress you’re wearing and how you single-handedly beat your soft-glam look to the gods.
The moments you have with yourself before your date are just as important as the date itself, so be your perfect hype woman.
2. Make plans in advance.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a spontaneous date night, but if you’re a girl who loves an itinerary or is new to the solo dating world, you’ll want to plan in advance. Setting a date on the calendar for when you want to take yourself out not only gets you excited for the night but sets the standard that if you or any man wants to get the most out of your time, they’ll have to make the time. Set a reservation 24-48 hours in advance. Plan out your itinerary. Know the showtime for the movie you’re headed to. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
3. Be open to something new.
If you’re taking yourself out on a solo date, congratulations! You’re already taking the first step to breaking out of your comfort zone and trying something completely new. The first few times you take yourself out, it will feel awkward and unfamiliar, but you’re getting the experience of dating yourself while gaining the experience of a new restaurant, cooking class, concert, or museum too. And once you’ve gotten over the discomfort and conquered your fears, all those nervous butterflies that come with a first date will be a little easier to manage.
4. Come home and reflect.
What feelings were brought up while you were out? Was the night a success? Did you strike up a conversation with someone at the bar? Journaling is an essential tool to use while solo dating to discover new layers of yourself. When you take the time to reflect on the personal time and dating experience that you had, you’re able to get a visual of what your core values are, what new things you learned about yourself, and even script what the perfect date night would look like when love enters your life.
Not to mention, it gives you the space to show gratitude for your single season because it deserves to be celebrated too.
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Featured image by DragonImages/Getty Images