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Jamila Woods' Hair-Raising Video For 'Holy' Is A Psalm Of Self-Love

If prayer is meant to soothe the soul, Jamila Woods's "Holy" is a bathtub balm of self-affirming joy. Like manna from HEAVN (her 2016 debut LP), a new visual for the song descended this week, and it's a hair-raising ode to single black women who've considered self-pity when the loneliness was too much.

"I'm not lonely, I'm alone / And I'm holy, by my own," Woods reassures herself in the absence of a lover.

The video is directed by Sam Bailey, the same auteur behind the Brown Girls web series for which Woods serves as music consultant, and the camera's eye for brown hues and inner blues shows. Its release comes on the tails of Woods' surprise announcement of a planned physical/digital re-release of HEAVN via Jagjaguwar and Closed Sessions.

But it's the visual that's capturing our full attention right now. In an era where "black girl magic" tributes abound, "Holy" feels like a subtle reminder that the best spells begin in the mirror.

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Rodney Carmichael is NPR Music's hip-hop staff writer. An Atlanta-bred cultural critic, he helped document the city's rise as rap's reigning capital for a decade while serving on staff as music editor, culture writer and senior writer for the defunct alt-weekly Creative Loafing.