Jazmine Sullivan unspools her 'Heaux Tales,' NPR Music's album of the year : All Songs Considered The singer reveals the stories and inspiration behind her breathtaking album. Released in January, Heaux Tales held our gaze throughout the year, becoming NPR Music's pick for the best album of 2021.

Jazmine Sullivan unspools her 'Heaux Tales,' NPR Music's album of the year

Jazmine Sullivan unspools her 'Heaux Tales,' NPR Music's album of the year

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Myesha Evon Gardner/Courtesy of the artist

At eight songs, interwoven with six, spoken-word interludes recorded by the women in her life, Jazmine Sullivan's Heaux Tales immortalizes the community of Black women that made the Grammy-nominated star who she is. Heaux Tales breathes life into themes of love, sex and loss, granting grace to those who are usually stereotyped and disrespected. It's the type of grace that even Jazmine admits she finds hard to constantly grant herself.

"You can't put us in a box to save your life," Sullivan says. "We are too colorful for your brightest paint."

The loving, bold dexterity of this work is precisely why Heaux Tales is crowned NPR Music's No. 1 album of 2021. In honor of the coronation, Jazmine tapped in with All Songs Considered to break down exactly how she created the concept for the project, the impact of what creating safe spaces can do and why this is the most important work of her career.

"Not only can we have [safe spaces] within our own inner circles, but let's expand it. Let's all look out for each other and have great intentions for each other and want the best for each other and even check each other if need be," she says. "Let's make this a movement."