One of the decade’s best: Imani Uzuri

While the crew is rolling out our “Best of” Lists, Jen Williams compiles a Top Ten of Sistas who Rocked the Decade (in no particular order):

  1. Res – Res started off the oh-ohs with her 2001 release “How I Do” and made a comeback last year with “Black. Girls. Rock.”
  1. Shingai
    and the Noisettes captured our spirits with their debut album “What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?” (2007) then delivered an eclectic mix last year on their sophomore album “Wild Young Hearts.”
  1. Janelle
    ‘s emergence from the ATLiens produced the interplanetary “Metropolis: The Chase Suite (2008).
  1. Kimya Dawson– off on her own from The Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson’s lo-fi, anti-folk stylings reached the masses when she was featured on the Juno soundtrack. But prior to that 2007 release, her five solo albums had already attracted a number of fans and admirers. Worthy of mention is her critically acclaimed “Hidden Vagenda” (2004).
  1. Shelley
    Nicole’s blaKbüshe
    – in 2003, Shelley Nicole, “the only Bush we could trust,” released her debut “She Who Bleeds.” If “The Quick and Dirty” EP (2009) is any evidence of what’s to come, we should expect more greatness from this soul-funk-rock queen.
  1. Tamar-Kali‘s full-length LP is the most highly anticipated on my 2010 list (in addition to Sade). In the meantime, I keep “Geechee Goddess Hardcore Warrior
    Soul” EP (2005) on repeat with an occasional tease from Tamar-Kali’s newest single “Pearl” (2009).
  1. Santigold – Philly native Santi White’s signature debut “Santigold” (2008) is one of my favorite albums of any genre this past decade. The multitalented punk rocker sings, writes, and produces for herself and artists like Lilly Allen and Res. Tagged by Rolling Stone as a 2008 artist to watch out for, Santi is slated to produce Devo’s first album in 10 years, due out this spring.
  1. Imani
    – the amazing vocal range of Imani Uzuri will indeed baptize you in her holy water.  Her voice is the most prominent feature on the songs on her debut album “Her Holy Water: A Black Girl’s
    Rock Opera” (2008) which move between mellow and almost trip-hoppy uptempo beats effortlessly.
  1. Honeychild
    – guitarist and vocalist Honeychild Coleman evokes for me an early Liz Phair. Though her lyrics on “Halo Inside (Come la Luna) (2008) are far from Phair’s risque “Exile in Guyville,” Coleman’s flat vocals with carefully pitched highs are at once charming, catchy, and smart.
  1. Leila
    – two words: dark and textured. Check out the latest from this amazing talent “Dark Joan” (2009) (re)discover “Dig a Hole” (2007) and “Cherry Pie” (2007).

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  • Alpha Betts

    Very good & thorough…Santi White is one of my top favorites of the decade. She wrote almost ALL of the songs on Res’s debut (except one), kicked major behind in the band Stiffed with the likes skate-punk legend and top studio musician Chuck Treece and production by Darryl Jenifer of Bad Brains. And all of this before the seminal Santogold album… looking forward to her next release…