Jidenna‘s shimmying is finally taking a short break in favor of some protesting. Janelle Monae and the Wondaland label teamed up for “Hell You Talmbout” before dropping The Eephus EP tomorrow. The new song is as clear of an anti-police brutality/anti-racism protest song as the label has ever released.
“Hell You Talmbout” traces its roots through hallmarks of black music: The HBCU drumline progression and the call and response that remembers the victims. The protest’s weight is both historical and personal.
“This song is a vessel,” Monae says in an Instagram post. “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?”
Protests songs are in demand nowadays. D’Angelo’s “All we wanted was a chance to talk/ ‘Stead we only got outlined in chalk” (“The Charade”) is an oft-quoted lyric, and Kendrick Lamar’s altruistic sentiments on “Alright” genuinely carry weight. Monae and the gang are pushing “Hell You Talmbout,” too. Wondaland performed the song on the first stop of The Eeephus Tour in Philadelphia. Give it a look below.