Janelle Monáe & Wondaland Records have just released “Hell You Talmbout,” a powerful new single that comes just a day before the release of the record label’s collaborative The Eephus EP. A drum line ushers in Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, and George 2.0 as they chant the names of black citizens who’ve been killed in the United States in the past few years and beyond, including Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Sean Bell, and more. It is, without question, a moving, important, jaw-dropping piece of work.
In an official statement, Monáe and Wondaland had this to say:
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 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?