After leading a Philadelphia march against police brutality on August 12th, onetime Atlantan Janelle Monáe has released a moving new #BlackLivesMatter protest song through her label Wondaland Records. In the song, “Hell You Talmbout,” Monáe and her label mates (Jidenna, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, and George 2.0) invoke the names of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Sean Bell, and Emmett Till, among others. The track, which implores listeners to “say his/her name!” is a “vessel,” said Monáe on her Instagram.
“It carries the unbearable anguish of millions. We recorded it to channel the pain, fear, and trauma caused by the ongoing slaughter of our brothers and sisters. We recorded it to challenge the indifference, disregard, and negligence of all who remain quiet about this issue. Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon. They say a question lives forever until it gets the answer it deserves… Won’t you say their names?”