Happy Caribbean American Heritage Month! In honor of the many folks of the Caribbean diaspora making this country actually great, we’ve chosen a few artists to celebrate. Give this feminist playlist a listen to start your weekend off right.
You can also listen to these songs on Unsweetened: A Playlist for a Feminist Future on Spotify.
Taina Asili, “No Es Mi Presidente”
With 4,800 people still without power, I’m sure there are a lot of Puerto Rican’s who are singing Taina Asili’s anthem, “No Es Mi Presidente.” I know we are. The Puerto Rican singer calls on us to seek collective liberation and smash white supremacy, while she puts 45 in his place in one fell swoop.
Krudas Cubensi, “Mi cuerpo es mio”
“My body is mine.” Cuban rappers Krudas Cubensi have long been a brave voice for LGBTQ rights and black feminism for the Caribbean diaspora.
Ivy Queen, “Yo Quiero Bailar”
Puerto Rican singer and rapper Ivy Queen has been called the Queen of Reggaeton for breaking new ground and paving way for women in a notoriously male-dominated genre. This song is her demand for consent on the dance floor.
Dominican-born, Chicago-based singer Rubby challenges gender stereotypes and genre stereotypes by creating music with themes associated with urban landscapes and setting them in rural places. With “Confieso,” they conjure the tension of queer flirtation in non-queer spaces.
Nitty Scott, “PXSSY POWAH”
Afro Latina rapper Nitty Scott takes inspiration from her Puerto Rican mother’s roots on her latest album. In an interview, she said, “I’m owning and discussing the experience of being Afro-Boricua, woman, bisexual, then bruja.”
Ishawna, “Equal Rights”
Jamaican artist Ishawna caused an uproar when she took Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and created a Dancehall sensation about reciprocating oral sex. Additionally, as one commenter noted: “Freed from the confines of Ed Sheeran’s soulful white boy lover man shtick, Ishawna unleashes the potential of the beat and turns it into a fucking jam.”
Calypso Rose, “Leave Me Alone”
Trinidadian activist and calypso pioneer Calypso Rose wrote this anthem against misogyny and harassment in the lead-up to last year’s Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.
Destra Garcia, “Lucy”
Soca artist Destra Garcia decries the double-standards of sexuality dictated by conservative cultural values in Trinidad and Tobago.
Trina, “Look Back at Me”
Rapper Trina is an icon of the American hip hop scene, and “Look Back at Me” is one of her most explosive songs about sexual freedom in a sexist industry.
Rihanna, “Man Down”
Rihanna is a multi-platform superstar who makes music, makeup, and underwear and has embraced feminism in her art. This song is about a woman’s revenge after a sexual assault.
Hurray for the Riff Raff, “Rican Beach”
Alynda Lee Segarra wrote “Rican Beach” about a fictional city which has been segregated and gentrified beyond recognition. Upon its release, she dedicated the song to protesters standing ground over safe water at Standing Rock, North Dakota, and in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, where coal ash waste contaminated the drinking supply. “You can take my life, but don’t take my home.”
Listen to the entire playlist here: