Sydnee Monday

Now more than ever it seems, women are able to speak out about the abuse they've experienced and have their voices heard. And as it happens in the public sphere, it also becomes a way for the collective to heal.

At 22, Brent Faiyaz is Grammy-nominated for singing the bouncy hook to GoldLink's summer-defining "Crew," a D.C.-centric celebration of being alive and young, black and striving. It's about the bond shared with people who've been there from the beginning.

Sabrina Claudio grew up in Miami — under palm trees, surrounded by music. There were often backyard parties with Cuban pastries, family and friends listening to merengue and dancing salsa.

"For years we had parties for every occasion," Claudio tells NPR. "It's good music, good vibes, good people, and so that's really contributed to my music."

A white Dodge Challenger with tinted windows speeds down an empty Atlanta highway. Inside are two people in elated, ecstatic love. NSTASIA's "Trap Or Die" is just that — a love story between a bad boy who might only have two options and the girl that chooses to sit in the passenger seat.

Since H.E.R.'s 2016 debut, Volume 1, there's been a smokescreen surrounding the anonymous singer. She's lights down low, sunglasses on, a curly head of hair seen from behind. Her music is the opposite. Vulnerable and honest, her new EP, Volume 2, explores the best and worst parts of intimacy. But "I Won't" finds H.E.R. at an important transition point: outside of any intimacy at all.