Written by Brooklyn White For Essence's June Digital Cover: Summer Walker

Written by Brooklyn White For Essence's June Digital Cover: Summer Walker

Summer Walker Graces Cover of Essence's June Digital Issue

Walker, 26, spent the earliest bit of her young adulthood operating a cleaning business and working as a stripper. She was comfortable with singing being a private joy, but after a few song covers of hers exploded in 2017, she reluctantly slinked into the limelight. Love Renaissance, a record label that sits under Interscope, is her home. Together, they’ve produced a mixtape, two extended plays, and two critically-acclaimed albums. Her debut album became the most-streamed R&B project by a woman in history, topping Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Now, with millions of records sold and a loyal host of supporters, Walker is taking on her first ESSENCE Festival of Culture. She will headline July 3 in Caesars Superdome, giving New Orleans a taste of her feminist fire.

“I wish that I paid more attention to the person I procreated with. It's still like you never really know anybody. Even how long you can be with people, you just never really know. People be in long-ass marriages, and they just switch up and you'll be like, "Yo, what the fuck?" So, I guess you can just never really know.”

— Summer Walker

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Writer: Brooklyn White

Brooklyn White-Grier is a journalist, editor and youth culture expert. In 2019, she made history as the founding Gen Z Editor of ESSENCE. She also oversees the editorial branch of Girls United, the legacy publication's platform for young Black women. Her viral stories can be found in Twitter threads and group chats. Oh yeah, it's found its way into a textbook, an academic journal, a PhD dissertation, and a syllabus, too.

White-Grier reports on Gen Z's interests across news + politics/social justice, technology, entertainment, and fashion/beauty. No topic is too pedestrian, no exploration is too niche.

Photographer: Micaiah Carter

Micaiah Carter is a Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA.
Clients include Thom Browne, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Nike, Puma, Adidas, Showtime, A24 Films, Pepsi, Converse, Apple, Vice, Afropunk, i-D, The New York Times, Urban Outfitters, Time, Warner Bros. Records, Epic Records, Document Journal, Teen Vogue, Elle, Tumblr, Nylon, Recens Paper, Men In This Town, and V Magazine.

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