Album Review: Jazmine Sullivan — Heaux Tales

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Sunday, March 7th, 2021 at 3:08 PM

“First of all, WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?”  

That’s a reasonable reaction to the intro of Jazmine Sullivan’s fourth studio album, “Heaux Tales,” her first project in six years. 

Sullivan has one of the stronger voices in the entertainment industry.  And although she seamlessly navigates riffs and key changes on songs like “Pick Up Your Feelings,” this album is definitely more a display of her pen game than her vocal ability. In the entirety of “Heaux Tales,” Sullivan uses the stories of six young ladies — stories of neglect, wrongdoings, low dignity, body shaming and being unapologetically sprung — to play “Fairy God Mother” in a bold manner. 

Sullivan’s confrontational and intrusive lyrics aren’t new to any of her fans, and she holds nothing back from the very start of this album. She is brutally honest, holding a mirror up to these past mishaps and questionable decisions. Most of all, her lyrics encourage listeners to take accountability for themselves. In “Heaux Tales,” Sullivan motivates young women to leave it at the altar, then go forth and be great. 

Sullivan tells herself to “get it together” when waking up in an unfamiliar place, and with little recollection of the night before, on “Bodies.” Then, in “Ari’s Tale,” she admits to being an aware victim of toxic love, fueled solely by lust. And in “Rashida’s Tale,” she admits to being the perpetrator of infidelity and hurting someone she loved. But as opposed to being regretful and remorseful in her tone and lyrics, she simply acknowledges them as shortcomings. She is essentially telling her audience of young women to dust themselves off and chalk it up to the game of growing into strong womanhood. 

This 14-song R&B album also includes features by Ari Lennox, H.E.R. and Anderson Paak. Although it doesn’t scream “classic,” I believe it is an exceptional listen for young women looking to reclaim their power in sexuality, self-care and self-acknowledgement, while looking to not slumber in a pit of grief and self-doubt. For being able to do that in such a relatable way, I applaud Jazmine Sullivan.

Terrique Johnson is a staff writer for The Spectator. He can be reached at

Tags: album review

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