After a year of presidential debates, impeachment hearings, fighting for women's rights, and trying to make the world a more inclusive space for Black women, sis is tired. I am sis. Sis is me. And who better than to ease the woes of the world than our flute-playing, p*ssy poppin' BFF in our head Lizzo?
It's cool if you're not in the mood to blame in on your "Juice", because earlier this year, Ari Lennox pulled up with the Black AF R&B soundtrack to life we didn't know we needed when she released Shea Butter Baby. Black artists were king when it came to the charts last year and we have a recap of the best albums to catch up on before bringing in the new year.
Whether you're prepared to give your knees a workout with Megan Thee Stallion's Fever or you want to get existential with Wale's Wow... That's Crazy, xoNecole's Best of 2019 Playlist can match your vibe.
Scroll below for 10 of our favorite albums of 2019:
Beyoncé: 'Homecoming: The Live Album'
Last year, Beyonce paid homage to HBCU culture in the dopest way possible at her highly-anticipated Coachella performance and in April, she snatched all the edges we had left with the release of her surprise concert film and soundtrack. Although the film was tragically snubbed by The Emmys this year, the greatness that is the Homecoming: The Live Album will forever be a national treasure in our eyes.
Ari Lennox: 'Shea Butter Baby'
Ari Lennox quit her job at a storage facility to sign to Dreamville and thanks to that leap of faith, we were blessed with one of the Blackest albums of 2019. Complete with extra Shea Butter and a hot pot of garbanzo beans, Ari's debut project turned out to be a major win for the culture and will set the mood for whatever flavor of Black girl magic you feel like serving up today.
Lizzo: 'Cuz I Love You'
Everything Lizzo touches turns to gold. At least that's what you'd think after listening to her chart-topping, history-breaking studio albumCuz I Love You. Although "Truth Hurts" was originally released in 2017, this track, along with a number of other bops featured on her album, were what helped make the 31-year-old singer the No.1 artist in the country over the past year.
Megan Thee Stallion: 'Fever'
Breakout artist Megan Thee Stallion emerged from the underground with her debut album this year and had our knees begging for mercy. With features from industry legends like Juicy and up-and-comers like DaBaby, this project promises to have you in Hot Girl Hustle mode all damn year.
Summer Walker: 'Over It'
Summer Walker's highly anticipated Over It was produced by her romantic partner, London On Da Track, and broke the streaming record set by Queen Bey herself after the release of Lemonade in 2016. Artists like 6lack, Usher, Bryson Tiller, and Jhene Aiko make appearances on this project.
Solange: 'When I Get Home'
A little than two years after creating a PSA for the non-touching of Black hair, Solange returned with yet another love letter to the melanated mavens of the world. Featuring popular tracks like "Almeda" and "Binz", When I Get Home picks up right where A Seat At The Table left off––in the mind of an apologetic AF Black woman.
Snoh Aalegra: '- ugh, those feels again'
If Sade and Amy Winehouse had a love child, she would probably sound a lot like Snoh Aalegra, the breakout Swedish songwriter who is sure to make waves in the new year. "I Want You Around", "Find Someone Like You", and "Nothing To Me" are a few of my favorite tracks on the project.
Wale: 'Wow… That’s Crazy'
With features from Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Bryson Tiller, Ari Lennox, Boogie, 6lack, Lil Durk, Wow… That's Crazy peaked at No. 7 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 and told an intimate story of love, mental health, and rediscovering self-love in a way that's unique to rappers in the digital age.
Doja Cat: 'Hot Pink'
If you didn't know who Doja Cat was in 2019, you'll definitely see her in 2020. The 24-year-old LA-born songwriter went viral after releasing her viral single "Mooo!" and recently dropped her second studio album, Hot Pink, with features from Gucci Mane, Smino, and Tyga.
Chance The Rapper: 'The Big Day'
Chance The Rapper has had one helluva year and commemorated his many milestones with the release of The Big Day. Guest-starring artists like Nicki Minaj, DaBaby, En Vogue, and Ari Lennox, the project dives into Chance's life as a husband and father.
Featured image by Tenor
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- The 50 Best Albums of 2019 | Pitchfork ›
- 25 Best Albums of 2019 | Revolver ›
- Best Albums of 2019 - The New York Times ›
- Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2019 - Album of The Year ›
- 50 Best Albums Of 2019 | Esquire Editors' Favourites From Stormzy ... ›
- Best Albums of 2019: Top Music Albums of the Year | Complex ›
- The 10 Best Albums of 2019 | Time ›
- The 50 best albums of 2019: the full list | Music | The Guardian ›
- Best Albums Of 2019 - Stereogum ›
- Top 50 Albums of 2019 | Consequence of Sound ›
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images