It’s no secret that LeBron James is a hip-hop head and tastemaker. His reactions to new albums are shared across socials as much, if not more, than critical reviews of new music. Savvy to that, Apple Music teamed up with James for a 62-track, women-only playlist: “The Strongest.”
“I believe that African American women are some of the strongest people on earth,” LeBron James says of the playlist’s inspiration. “I grew up around some amazingly strong women and am inspired by the strength I see around, including my mom, wife, and daughter.”
The playlist features several familiar and expected faces: Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, Cardi B, and Solange. In tandem, there is a grip of artists rap fans may not all be privy to, including Tierra Whack, Jamila Woods, Lizzo, and Saweetie, for whom we've got a fantastic Starter's Guide.
Of course, there is some palpable irony when it comes to celebrating a man for his choice to uplift women; however, when that man is someone with LeBron James’ massive platform, we have to consider that glaring net positive of the situation. People follow LeBron’s every move, and if he is their gateway to the expansive world of women in rap, so be it.
We have to reward the behaviors we wish to see in society, and if we want more people championing the incredible work done by women in music, then here we are.
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