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SoulBounce Honors 2008’s Woman of the Year: Muhsinah

Continuing with SoulBounce Honors Week, it is our pleasure to honor Muhsinah as our Woman of the Year. She has long been considered Bounce-Worthy here, and this year she took major strides, gaining recognition for her fantastic album Day.Break and her inventive, totally unique vocal and production style. Instead of bending to the fickle and uninspiring music industry at large, she continued to
bend it's tastes in her direction. Not only was she featured in several print media magazines like XLR8R and Trace, and released a few projects both as web exclusives and as CDs.

But the real beauty of Muhsinah is her captivating ability to add conceptual gravitas not only to her solo music but also to the collaborative work she's done. One needn't look any further than her contributions to The Foreign Exchange's Leave It All Behind to understand that whatever she appears on grows infinitely more interesting and rounded. On "Daykeeper" she adds layers of vocal thickness and sweetness to the song, enveloping SoulBounce Man of the Year Phonte's voice, in a way becoming the keeper she sings of being. Her appearance on "Changes" with Common is one of the best things going for Universal Mind Control, signifying newness and adding a thoughtfulness that is refreshing.

Being smooth and melodic are definitely traits of hers, but jill of all musical trades Muhsinah adds complexity to them through her willingness to be experimental. She does things to her sound that others could never envision nor have the sonic fortitude to pull off in any way. She is woman of the year because regardless of how or where she appears, things bite with her freshness and instantly become more profound. Her ability to challenge us listeners to understand harmonic structures and vocal intonations has given her an edge that few women in music this year have attained, and none in a way even remotely similar to hers. She is on her way up, expanding what progressiveness in music is all about.

[Photo: Marc Baptiste]


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11 Responses

  1. I think Muhsinah is dope but is is just me or are vocal stylings extremely similiar to Georgia Anne Muldrow who's been on the scene for a good minute? Are you sure it's not the same person?

  2. naaa different than GAM.. and GAM is on another level production wise and content but Musinah deserves the honors for DC.

  3. I mean, i know they're diff people.. i was being sarcastic ;)..and I def agree the GAM is on another level production & content wise...Just that they said she has a unique sound..where I feel her sound is very similiar to that of GAM who I've known about for a very long time..feel me?

  4. I feel you Tina. Initially I thought the same thing too, but the more I listened, the distance and difference between their sounds is clear. Both very powerful and daring and just a pleasure to listen to.
    I am delighted to see Muhsinah as the SB Woman of the Year. My appreciation for what she has brought to the scene since I first heard her last year has grown and grown.
    Between her, Jazmine Sullivan and Janelle Monae, it was a beautiful year for my ears.

  5. Nice choice, but I'd say Esperanza Spalding. Ok, Jazz.

  6. there really is no comparison. congratulations are in order.

  7. I got hold of Day.Break as soon as it was released and I must say I gave it a listen and then put it away ... however since i've heard a few more of her collabo's, especially LIAB i have a new appreciation for her work.
    I think she definately deserves it!

  8. YES!! I am in love with her voice! In LOVE! And that crazy video of 'Construction' is real cool! Good looks SoulBounce!

  9. To the GAM comparisons: Even Etta, Sarah, and Nina were contemporaries - but they all earned they own stripes. Trust they're both instrumental to the resurgence of thoughtful genre-bending production...
    That said, this is the best choice for Woman of the Year, and really could translate amongst the best in ANY category for 08, and hopefully 09, 10, 11, 12, . . . ad infinitum

  10. we all know she stole the sound.
    its not coincedence, i think black people are afraid to have someone like georgia speaking for them, a true african queen, so they go for anything thats fake, watered down.



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