3. Solange, 'A Seat at the Table'
Indebted to both vintage soul and contemporary indie rock, A Seat at the Table is a love letter to self-sufficiency in the face of incredible pain and a manifesto for modern black womanhood. Above dreamy synths and muted drums, the youngest Knowles sister rockets into the neo-soul pantheon, demanding that the curious "Don't Touch My Hair" and reminding everyone that "this shit is for us." Collaborators like Kelly Rowland, Q-Tip, Master P, Lil Wayne and Knowles' own parents unlock their own experiences to create a smooth, experimental soul masterpiece that unsettles as gracefully as it heals. B.S.