Janelle Monáe has been actively involved of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Recently, she organized an anti-police brutality protest in Times Square. Now, she and several members of her Wondaland roster, including Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, have released a rework of “Hell You Talmbout" -- this time as an anti-police brutality anthem.
The track was originally released on her 2013 album, The Electric Lady, and features a stripped-down simplicity that speaks volumes. It pairs an undulating, percussive rhythm with Monae and others saying the names of several victims of police brutality over the past few years.
“This song is a vessel,” Monae wrote 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."
Here are some of the victims of police brutality now immortalized on the track:
In February 2012, the unarmed teen was shot and killed by then-28-year-old George Zimmerman. When police found Martin's body, they found only a bottle of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.
In May of 2010, the 7-year-old was shot and killed by a police officer during a raid. She was sleeping on a couch in her home in Detroit.
In July 2014, the 43-year-old died after being wrestled to the ground by a white NYPD officer. He was allegedly seen selling cigarettes on the street.
Freddie GrayMurphy, Falcon & Murphy
In April of 2015, the 25-year-old was chased and restrained by police officers. His spinal cord was severed, and he later died in police custody.
In July 2015, the 28-year-old was found dead while in police custody of an alleged suicide. The activist had initially been pulled over for failing to signal a lane change.
In August 2014, the 18-year-old was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
"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?," Monáe wrote in an Instagram post.