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Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Records Release EP, Protest Song

credit Marc BaptisteFrom left to right: Roman GianArthur Alex Belle (St. Beauty) Isis Valentino (St. Beauty) Jidenna Janelle Monáe Nate Wonder (Deep Cotton) Chuck Lightning (Deep Cotton)

In February 2015, singer-songwriter Janelle Monae announced that in partnership with Epic Records, she has founded her own recording label and “movement,” titled Wondaland. Consisting of the imprint’s five acts, the label has released their first compilation EP consisting of U.S. charting hits including rapper Jidenna’s ‘Classic Man’, Monae’s ‘Yoga’ and new singles from the album’s other artists: male duo Deep Cotton, Roman GianArthur and female duo St. Beauty.

Released on August 14, the soulful EP was accompanied by the SoundCloud release of a free song, ‘Hell You Talmbout.’ The protest single is being considered “right on time,” considering week-long rallies across the country marking the one year anniversary of Micheal Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. The black teenager was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, which soon restarted a conversation about the role of race & police brutality towards the African-American community.

Monae posted this message on Instagram about the song:

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?

Monae & Jidenna, loud anti-police brutality activists, have led #BlackLivesMatter marches in both Philadelphia and New York within the past week as well.

Article by Joshua Morales