1. Work It – Missy Elliott
First things first, I can’t even being to understand how people did not know who she was during the Super Bowl. Mainly because the only regret I ever have in my life was that I never got to be age 19-25 during the early 2000s so I could be guaranteed to dance to AT LEAST five Missy Elliott songs any given night out. But I digress. THIS SONG IS SO GOOD! And I will never be able to get over this line: “I’m not a prostitute but I can give you what you want.” She takes charge of herself and shows that women have all the power in this type of transaction. Like, Missy E is basically telling her man, ‘yeah you can pay for this or I can give it to you for free—IF I FEEL LIKE IT,’ but if I know M.E. like I think I do, she feelin’ like it.
2. Free Your Mind – En Vogue
Let’s just start with the fact that this is one of the greatest band names ever. It reminds me of French, Madonna, and being cool—all things every band name should strive for (sorry, One Direction). This entire song is about these girls doing whatever the hell they damn please; which is fabulous. They hook up with who they want to, spend the money they work hard for, and dress how they feel. My favorite part is that they know people are gonna try and judge, so they add in the subtle yet amazing line: “before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me” #WISDOM.
3. None Of Your Business – Salt n Pepa
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOOKER AND A HOE AIN’T NOTHING BUT A FEE!!! Sorry, I just have to shout that lyric whenever I hear this song. There was no chance I was gonna leave Salt n Pepa out of this. I couldn’t do that to Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin. This anthem is a call out to everybody obsessing over them, and how much they just really don’t care. People obsess over their sex and personal life, and that’s just not something Salt n Pepa—or anyone, for that matter—should deal with. .
4. Get On Your Knees – Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande
As much as I love Ariana Grande, I know some people are gonna throw shade for me putting her on a list with Missy Elliott. I know. BUT SHE’S WITH NICKI, AND THEY ABSOUTELY KILLING IT! Sure, the purring kinda creeps me out but it’s coming from a good place. One of the best things about this song is that these two women are breaking the whole stereotype that “buy someone dinner and they’ll sleep with you.” Instead, they’re saying a) that’s kind of sexist and, b) I don’t want to fucking eat with you. So please spare Ariana the poem. Slash, we all freaked when it got slow at the end and they demanded: “If you wanna get the job you better know who’s the boss,” I mean I’m not even that up to date on sex-slang (or slang in general, #fleek?) but I think we can all agree that’s a pretty hot command.
5. 2 On – Tinashe
Tinashe gets drunk, Tinashe gets high, and Tinashe does it whenever she damn pleases. This song is sooo good and it took me some time (and a tweet from Lena Dunham) to realize just how great this song really was for a woman’s self-expression. My favorite part about this song is that it celebrates her choice to just go out and have fun, leaving away any hint that she’s dolling herself up for a man. This ain’t no letter with the header “Dear Future Husband,” this is Tinashe’s proclamation to her, her stuntin’ clique, and anyone else who’s down to get down. After all, she just loves to get on, loves to get two on.