Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Wednesday, October 08, 2008


    You know the songs your mom, sister, aunts, or cousins would listen to. It would make them put their hand in the air and say, "That m*thaf*cka..."

    As you got older you would appreciate these songs more. Artists of our generation would start spilling out these tracks that were specifically geared to black women -- the songs always have some soul, sass, and a neck roll.

    10. "Friend of Mine" by Kelly Price

    I remember the video with Kelly Price as the tragic big girl in the back of limousine and all that mascara running down her face. The video even had a camp factor with Ron Isley and R. Pissy. Definitely a sistah girl song!

    Best line: "I'm callin', I'm callin', I'm callin'!"

    9. "Chante's Got a Man" by Chante Moore

    In Chante's biggest hit she was bragging about her good man and letting all her girlfriends know it!

    Best line: "He always treats me right! We never fight! He sends me flowers and wines and dines me! Took me home to meet his momma! How he loves me!"

    8. "Love Under New Management" by Miki Howard

    Not the most popular song by Howard, but she was telling it like it is in this song that basically says, "I finally got me a good man!"

    Best line: "Girl, just when I was about ready to throw my hands and give up on love -- real love walked in, girls! I’m talkin’ about the kind you can hold on to in the middle of the night."

    7. "Dr. Feel Good" by Aretha Franklin

    While Re-Re is the ultimate sistah girl this sassy rant about her good man stands out among all the rest -- with "Ain't No Way" right behind it!

    Best line: "Don't send me no doctor! Fillin' me up with all those pills! I got me a man named Doctor Feelgood!"

    6. "I'm Catchin' Hell (Living All Alone)" by Natalie Cole

    Before Natalie Cole got all dignified and jazzy, she was a soul singer. This song is a fan favorite where she talks about her man helping with groceries, the yard, and "you know, payin' the bills."

    Best line: "I could have given our love a chance to grow but no, I had to challenge it and be heard. Let me tell you something -- that female liberation stuff, I don't know, sometimes I don't think its worth it... and... I'm really feeling... feeling kind of bad y'all."

    5. "Bill" by Peggy Scott Adams

    Okay, I know many people think this is a homophobic song but I find it downright hilarious. Before the "DL" babble came along Peggy Scott Adams delivered this sistah girl ballad.

    Best line: "He was in Bill's arms -- breathin' hard and French kissin'!"

    4. "Not Gon' Cry" by Mary J. Blige

    The spelling of "gon''' lets you know it's gonna be a sistah girl song. Folks were weeping to this R&B torch song in 1995. Plus, it was from a sistah girl movie -- Waiting to Exhale.

    Best line: "I should've left your ass a long time ago!"

    3. "Tyrone" by Erykah Badu

    "Tyrone" is the evolution of the sistah girl song and I don't know a black woman alive who doesn't know the lyrics to this ode to "trifling brothas."

    Best lines: "I'm gettin' tired of your shit! You don't never buy me nothin'!"

    2. "Woman to Woman" by Shirley Brown

    "Hello? May I speak to Barbara? Barbara, this is Shirley...” You knew when you heard that line this was gonna be some serious sh*t. "Woman to Woman" goes down in history as one of the best sistah girl ballads of all time.

    Best line: "The man you're in love with -- he's mine! From the top of his head to the bottom of his feet!"

    1. "If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Wanna Be Right)" by Millie Jackson

    Millie Jackson is the empress of sistah girl songs. Mama will talk her way through a ballad, telling you a whole damn story -- and for some reason you just know she talks this way to all her menz. There are so many to choose from like "If You're Not Back My Monday," "Never Change Loves In The Middle of The Night," and "Young Man, Older Woman." However, "If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Wanna Be Right)" is the classic!

    Best line: “The sweetest thing about the whole situation is… the fact that when you go to the Laundromat, you don’t have to wash nobody’s funky draws but your own!

    Honorable mentions: "The Boy is Mine" by Monica and Brandy, "Runaway Love" by Linda Clifford, "As We Lay" by Shirley Murdock, "I'm Goin' Down" by Rose Royce, "Girlfriend" by Pebbles, "From His Woman To You" by Barbara Mason, "I'm A Woman" by Koko Taylor (for the old-old-old school folk!)

    Check out a live performance from Millie Jackson!

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 19 comments

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