Maimouna Youssef is a seasoned Grammy-nominated hip-hop singer, emcee, songwriter and poet. She has swapped musical licks with artists including, Angelique Kidjo, Brian Wilson’s band, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Dead Prez, Wilco, Zap Mama, Cody Chestnut, Martin Luther, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli.

Her latest album Vintage Babies is a deep body of work touching on heavy subject matters such as female empowerment, police brutality, racism and humanity’s need to bond together — Maimouna’s realism is quite refreshing to hear! It’s a smooth mashup of soul, funk and rap. You’ll have to listen to the album many times to really grasp its depth.

Her song “Never Bring Me Down” is about female empowerment; the track samples parts of Michelle Obama’s speech given in regards to the lewd comments made by a 2005 Trump audio recording. The song is also preceded by a short skit that samples a male rapper mocking female emcees’.

“Say My Name” is a soulful track that appears to be a tribute to the 28-year old Sandra Bland, a black Texas women who was pulled over for a traffic violation by state trooper, Brian Encinia. The exchange escalated, resulting in Bland’s arrest and charge for assaulting a police officer. She was later found hanging in a jail cell in 2015. Her death, which was ruled a suicide, was followed by protests against her arrest, disputing the cause of death, and alleging racial violence against her. (Source for Sandra Bland: Wikipedia)

“Work in Progress” is an optimistic and honest track where Maimouna admits that she is not perfect, but a “work in progress.” With the daily grind of life, it’s a song that many can relate to.