One of the most acclaimed R&B artists since 2016, the year her first EP found a rapt audience, H.E.R. has been celebrated for vulnerable yet assured love ballads and sharp protest songs alike. The singer/songwriter maximizes the power of her honeyed vocals as a simultaneously poetic and straightforward lyricist, shifts to convincing MC mode on a dime, and is also a guitarist and producer. H.E.R. (2017), I Used to Know Her (2019), and Back of My Mind (2021), her three full-length recordings, have each featured platinum singles, including "Focus," "Could've Been," and "Damage." She has won four Grammys, most notably Song of the Year for "I Can't Breathe" (2020). "Fight for You" (2021), her contribution to the soundtrack of Judas and the Black Messiah, made her an Academy Award winner for Best Original Song. A desired collaborator across genres, H.E.R. has scored supplemental hits as a co-writer and guest vocalist on Daniel Caesar's "Best Part," YG's "Slide," and Skip Marley's "Slow Down." Source

Excerpt from "I Can't Breathe"

Trying times all the time

Destruction of minds, bodies, and human rights

Stripped of bloodlines, whipped and confined

This is the American pride

It's justifying a genocide

Romanticizing the theft and bloodshed

That made America the land of the free

To take a black life, land of the free

To bring a gun to a peaceful fight for civil rights

You are desensitized to pulling triggers on innocent lives

Because that's how we got here in the first place

These wounds sink deeper than the bullet

Your entitled hands could ever reach

Generations and generations of pain, fear, and anxiety

Equality is walking without intuition

Saying the protector and the killer is wearing the same uniform

The revolution is not televised

Media perception is forced down the throats of closed minds

So it's lies in the headlines

And generations of supremacy resulting in your ignorant, privileged eyes

We breathe the same and we bleed the same

But still, we don't see the same

Be thankful we are God-fearing

Because we do not seek revenge

We seek justice, we are past fear

We are fed up eating your shit

Because you think your so-called "black friend"

Validates your wokeness and erases your racism

That kind of uncomfortable conversation is too hard for your trust-fund pockets to swallow

To swallow the strange fruit hanging from my family tree

Because of your audacity

To say all men are created equal in the eyes of God

But disparage a man based on the color of his skin

Do not say you do not see color

When you see us, see us

We can't breathe





Literary Movements:

Rap & Hip Hop

Anthology Years:



Police Brutality

Racial Injustice

Rap & Hip Hop

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.