Jamila Woods
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Jamila Woods
Jamila Woods
Born (1989-10-06) October 6, 1989 (age 30)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Singer-songwriter
  • rapper
  • poet

Jamila Woods (born October 6, 1989) is a Chicago-based American singer, songwriter and poet. Woods is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and Brown University, where she received a BA in Africana Studies and Theater & Performance Studies.[1][2][3] Her work focuses on themes of Black ancestry, Black feminism, and Black identity, with recurring emphases on self-love and the City of Chicago.[4]



In 2012, Jamila Woods published her first chapbook, entitled The Truth About Dolls. Her work can be found in the anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The UnCommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013). Her influences include Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, and Frida Kahlo.[4]

Woods was also one of three editors of The Breakbeat Poets Volume II, entitled Black Girl Magic. The 2018 publication is an anthology of poetry by contemporary Black women, "exploring themes of beauty, unapologetic blackness, intersectionality, self-definition, and more."[5] Woods is a member of the Dark Noise Poetry Collective with fellow creatives Fatimah Asghar, Franny Choi, Nate Marshall, Aaron Samuels, and Danez Smith.[6]

Community organizing

Woods is the Associate Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors (YCA), an organization in the Chicago dedicated to uplifting youth voices through arts education and mentorship. Through YCA, Woods helps to organize Louder Than a Bomb, the world's largest youth poetry slam festival. She also facilitates poetry workshops and creates curriculum for Chicago Public Schools.[4] While in Providence, Woods served as a volunteer at non-profit arts center New Urban Arts.[7]


After completing studies at Brown, Woods and classmate Owen Hill formed soul-pop band Milo and Otis, or M&O, which released two albums: The Joy in 2012 and Almost Us in 2014.[8] The song "Lift Up" on the band's debut album features Chance the Rapper. M&O disbanded in 2014. Woods is widely known for her other collaborative works with Chance the Rapper on the hit song "Sunday Candy" from the album Surf as well as "Blessings" from Coloring Book. Woods is also featured on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song "White Privilege II".[9] In January 2016, Woods signed to Chicago's independent hip-hop label, Closed Sessions.[10]


Studio albums

Title Album details
Legacy! Legacy!
  • Released: May 10, 2019
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
Heavn album cover


Woods released her debut album Heavn on her SoundCloud page on July 11, 2016 to critical acclaim. The album features collaborations with Chance the Rapper, Noname, Saba, Lorine Chia, Kweku Collins and Donnie Trumpet. Heavn was ranked as the 36th best album of 2016 by Pitchfork. Heavn features a variety of producers, including oddCouple, a fellow Closed Sessions signee who produced five of the album's 12 tracks. In 2017, Woods partners with Jagjaguwar and Closed Sessions to re-release the album. [11]

Legacy! Legacy!

Legacy! Legacy! album cover

Jamila released her second album Legacy! Legacy! via Jagjaguwar on May 10, 2019 to rave reviews. The album features collaborations with Nitty Scott, Saba, theMIND, Jasminfire, and Nico Segal. Legacy! Legacy! includes hook song "Eartha" that assists in displaying the history and lineage of a country obsessed with forgetting.[12]


  1. ^ "Jamila Woods releases powerful single, 'blk girl soldier'". suntimes.com. 24 January 2016. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Meet Hollis Wong-Wear And Jamila Woods, The Women Of Color Behind Macklemore's 'White Privilege II'". 25 January 2016. Retrieved 2017 – via Huff Post.
  3. ^ Reader, Chicago (10 December 2015). "Jamila Woods". chicagoreader.com. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Woods, Jamila. "Home". Jamila Woods Writes. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Lewis, Eva. ""Black Girl Magic" Editor Jamila Woods and Poet Safia Elhillo on Putting a Spotlight on Black Women". Teen Vogue. Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Foundation, Poetry (2020-05-09). "Dark Noise: Fatimah Asghar, Franny Choi, Nate Marshall, Aaron Samuels, Danez Smith & Jamila Woods". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "The 2011 Art Party". New Urban Arts. 2011-05-20. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Terry, Josh. "Interview: Jamila Woods is one of Chicago's most multifaceted musicians". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Forrest, Wickman (January 22, 2016). "Macklemore's "White Privilege II" Isn't a Great Song, But as a Think Piece It's Not Terrible". Slate. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Jamila Woods Signs Label Deal With Chicago's Closed Sessions, Releases First Single (Exclusive) | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Jagjaguwar | JAG312". Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Jagjaguwar | JAG342". Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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