Janelle Monàe brought her Wondaland Records label imprint including her artists, like the “Classic Man” Jidenna, to NBC’s TODAY and she had one message,
“Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon.”
The message that is in the music of this pint-sized beauty packs the punch of 10 young Mike Tysons’, but does not come across as ‘angry’.
The melody on “Hell You Talmbout” is actually very upbeat and the lyrics are straightforward and unapologetic.
Bombs on the floor, smoke in the mirror, girls getting their hair done in electric jungles, drunk man comes, stopping the limo, he said he got a gun, but we keep on jammin’ on, red white and blue, here come the sirens, old lady dance with the little girls on the corner, there’s a war in the streets, nobody speaks, now a boy is laying on the ground ..
Monàe, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur and other Wondaland artists shout “Say her name!” and “Say his name!” while they list the many black men and women murdered by police in the last year.
However, at the apex of the song, as soon as she said “we will not be silenced” the song was cut off and she was given the “camera pan” away from the stage.
Coincidence? Maybe – probably not.
It’s not any different than when we yell #BlackLivesMatter and they try to retort with #AllLivesMatter without dealing with the glaring truth behind why we must affirm that #BlackLivesMatter. It is an attempt to silence, an attempt to detract from the truth and distract, perhaps, from their own guilt.
“Hell You Talmbout” is currently not on her latest release “The Eephus” compilation, but will surely be a song performed on The Eephus Tour, which was kicked of in Philadelphia after leading a police brutality protest in the city of brotherly love.
This song is a vessel.
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 the 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?