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Young, Sexy And Black: 32 Songs For Unapologetic Confidence

Whether you're a tote bag or Telfie babe, the spirit of roséwave lives in us all.
Kara Frame
Whether you're a tote bag or Telfie babe, the spirit of roséwave lives in us all.

Here's one to ease a messy transition for Hot Girls and Gays getting ready to dominate again. After a stolen summer and withdrawn winter – and despite uncertain public health protocols and vaccination disparities – outside finally feels hot again. This is the summer of infinite experimentation. Freedom nurtures potential.

Young, Sexy and Black is your soundtrack for being fun, carefree, dynamic, fresh, vibrant, confident, cute, loving and loved. It's for youngins who leave the house Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon after seven moves to rest for an hour before the eighth. Unapologetic Black brunchers, lowercase girls who spend their free time plotting, those who remember the champagne, not the food, at the picnic: It's time for you to thrive again. Remember those barely planned, niche antics the group chat gets up to when shooting the breeze — rosé in one hand, dumbbell in the other at sunrise yoga? Full beat, hoops, short skirts and heels for a grocery run? Deliberating with the council, trying to decide whether it's time for a tour-de-exes à la J. Lo? It's all fair game. Grab your girls, choose life and get gone.

Spanning decades, Young, Sexy and Black celebrates the everlasting presence of vivacious souls, those who embrace the erotic on a daily basis by creating space for the power of their creativity energy. Luda preaches about the underrated pleasure of stumbling into mayhem on a regular-degular Saturday while Yung Baby Tate shares the affirmations that keep her healthy and protected. Janet takes a page out of Megan Thee Stallion's book (note, her thesis is doing whatever she wants to do) with plans to dance all night. From Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder to KAYTRANADA, Solange and Janelle Monáe — the allure of feeling yourself can't be contained.

Through liberation, you'll never walk alone. The spirit of roséwave — that sweet summer medicine of in-your-face and what-else-can-you-do-but-join-and-dance joy — lives in us all.

Whether you're a tote bag or Telfie babe, pop open a bottle and remember the first rule of roséwave, long ago prophesied by Jodeci: "Positive is the attitude / Negative is not the mood."

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LaTesha Harris is NPR Music's editorial assistant. A relentless jack-of-all-trades, she takes turns writing, editing and producing music coverage. Invested in the culture behind pop, hip-hop and R&B, her work highlights the intersection between identity and history. Once in a blue moon, Harris moonlights as a talking head with no filter.