Janelle Monae Releases Protest Song

janelle monae

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment

A year ago, as the #BlackLivesMatter movement ignited a civil-rights revolution for a new generation in the wake of Michael Brown's murder, it began its call to action with one phrase: "Hands up, don't shoot!" in reference to the spike in police brutality against Black men and women this decade.

Now, in response to both the rising death toll and the disparate coverage of Black women killed by police compared to Black men, activists chant, "Say her name." Monáe and her Wondaland associates, including "Classic Man" duo Jidenna and Roman GianArthur, have taken that message and put it to song. In Philadelphia yesterday, in New York City this afternoon, and in "Hell You Talmbout," released today, they honor dozens of Black men and women whose lives were taken by police — too many without consequence — by saying their names to the tune of a drum line.

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