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“Betty (for Boogie)” by Jamila Woods

“Running from myself, I come undone. I wait, I try.”

I am not your typical girl
Throw away that picture in your head
I am not your typical girl
Work harder now work harder

I am not your typical girl
Throw away that picture in your head
I am not your typical girl
Work harder now work harder
(Running from myself
I come undone
Running from myself
I come undone)

Oh I’m different, I’m a cup of mild sauce
Sweet tongue but don’t get me in a papercut
I’ll fight you with my eyes oh when they call me shy
They just frightened of what’s in my mind
These great greats won’t let me lie
Midnight eyes wide feels like I’m at the riverside
Great greats come down, they whisper to me quiet
“I’m alive I’m alive I’m alive”

I am not your typical girl
Throw away that picture in your head
I am not your typical girl
Work harder now work harder

I am not your typical girl
Throw away that picture in your head
I am not your typical girl
Work harder now work harder
(Running from myself
I come undone
Running from myself
I come undone)

What is it with you independent men?
It’s always something
Threatening your masculine
Energy you think it’s fleeting
Nothing you ain’t give to me
I can take away from you now
Let me be I’m trying to fly you
Insist on clipping my wings

I am not your typical girl
Throw away that picture in your head
I am not your typical girl
Work harder now work harder
(Running from myself
I come undone
Running from myself
I come undone)

I am not your typical girl
Throw away that picture in your head
I am not your typical girl
Work harder now work harder
(Running from myself
I come undone
Running from myself
I come undone)

Running from myself
I come undone
I wait, I try


Jamila Woods Breaks Down Every Song on Her New Album, LEGACY! LEGACY!

Pitchfork: This is a nod to Betty Davis, the pioneering funk musician who was also briefly married to Miles Davis in the late ’60s. How did you become interested in her?


Jamila Woods: I’ve always been fascinated by women artists in relationships with more prominent male artists, and how that affected their careers. I’ve written a series of poems about women like this, including one about Betty Davis. I recently saw the documentary about her, They Say I’m Different, and it gave me an even bigger picture into how she pushed what it meant to be a woman performing onstage. She was really sensual, and people couldn’t handle it. I always admired that. But that actually closed a lot of doors for her, with men in the music industry feeling like she was going to be too much. The second verse of this song questions the tension that exists when women want to step outside of the box that’s prescribed for them, and how men sometimes see that as a threat as opposed to us just expressing ourselves.

Jamila Woods Gives A Nod To Chicago House On “BETTY (For Boogie)”

JAMILA WOODS’S CELEBRATION OF SELFHOOD

“Betty (for Boogie)”

The remix of Betty, after Chicago house. And it’s called “For Boogie” because Boogie McClarin is this amazing house dance teacher in Chicago, and she’s basically the reason that I know anything about Chicago house. If you take a dance class with her, you get an oral-history lesson; she’s always telling stories of the culture of house music and how it really was one of the movements of desegregating a really segregated city.

“Betty”

She was a style icon, but also very sensual, and expressed her sexuality onstage in a way that made a lot of people uncomfortable. A lot of men closed doors because they weren’t ready for that, and I relate to being a woman in a male-dominated industry and having those expectations. I feel like there’s a sense of a threat when a woman steps out of the mold.

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