On her latest disc, Gangsta Blues, Tanya Stephens replaces the male-bashing and stereotypically X-rated dancehall persona that characterized her previous albums with skilled storytelling peppered with some raw language. She nimbly details the uncertainty of relationships on the tender "It's a Pity" and the hilarious "Tek Him Back," while her acoustic ballad "What a Day" offers a dream similar to John Lennon's "Imagine": "Oh what a day when men finally live what they teach and love ain't just a concept we preach." But it's her stunning a cappella remake of Helen Reddy's equality anthem "I Am Woman" that inadvertently reveals a truly pathetic truth: If a male artist had made a record this triumphantly courageous, he'd be lauded as reggae's savior, while Stephens is only considered a good "female" artist.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.