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Janelle Monàe Cut Off During Her Message About Black Lives On 'Today'

"Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon."

 

Janelle Monàe's Friday morning performance on NBC's "Today" was lively, original and cut short -- right when she started to talk about police brutality. 

The "Tightrope" singer appeared with collaborators from her new custom record label, Wondaland, in support of the collective's new EP, "The Eephus" (see her interview with "Today" above).

 

At the end of her performance of "Hell You Talmbout," a rousing protest song for the Black Lives Matter movement, Monàe told the crowd: 

Yes Lord! God bless America! God bless all the lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced...

But before she could finish, the camera cut away and an anchor tried to talk over her.

 

Monàe shared a message via Instagram about the meaning of "Hell You Talmbout" hours after the members of Wondaland led a march in Philadelphia protesting police brutality on Wednesday: 

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?

The song specifically mentions black Americans like Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott,Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Eric GarnerMichael Brown, Aiyana Stanley-JonesSandra Bland and the many others who have died, mostly at the hands of the police. 

 

While interviews and musical segments from Monàe's 'Today" appearance were quickly posted to the show's website on Friday, the "Hell You Talmbout" performance was conspicuously absent. 

Last edited by Kocolicious
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Janelle Monáe Gives Black Lives Matter Movement A Melodic Voice

"Can we speak their names, as long as we have breath in our bodies?”

Janelle Monáe is known for not only her music and perfect pompadour but also her activism.

Before she kicked off "The Eephus," an eight-city tour of free shows with Jidenna and other Wondaland artists, Monáe joined forces with Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia. 

Peacefully marching with other protesters on Wednesday, the “Yoga” singer prompted the audience to recite the names of victims of police brutality. 

“Won’t you say their names?" she told the crowd, according to Vibe. "Can we say their names right now? Can we speak their names, as long as we have breath in our bodies?”

At her show later that night, Monáe continued to “say their names” with a Black Lives Matter rendition of "Hell You Talmbout,” a bonus single from Monáe's “Electric Lady” album. The Wondaland crew replaced the lyrics in each verse with chants that ordered the crowd to say the names of Sandra Bland, John Crawford, Mike Brown and others. 

Monáe explained the message behind this song in an Instagram post:

 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?

The morning after her second show and accompanying protest, Monáe performed the song on "Today." At the end of her performance, she said, "We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced…” before NBC cut her comments short.

Monáe and friends have six more stops to make on The Eephus tour and these first two undoubtedly set the tone on what to expect from following shows. 

When those drums play on "Hell You Talmbout" and they start calling the names of all the young people murdered by these Klan cops, you expect a Maasai Brother and a Cecil cloned lion to walk your way from somewhere in your house.  That song is powerful and sad and beautiful all at once!!!

 

This is as powerful as Marvin's "What's Going On".  Lord knows, I almost lost my mind on that one.  Loved that song!!!! 1971, when i was all kinds of younger puppy.

Last edited by Norland
*snip*

Monáe explained the message behind this song in an Instagram post:

 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?

The morning after her second show and accompanying protest, Monáe performed the song on "Today." At the end of her performance, she said, "We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced…” before NBC cut her comments short.

Monáe and friends have six more stops to make on The Eephus tour and these first two undoubtedly set the tone on what to expect from following shows. 

One thing we ALL understand as Africans in this joint is the calling of the Drum. Every ONE of us will drop whatever we're doing when the call beckons and there's a message to be heard.  Not ONE of us escapes that, it's firmly entrenched in our gene pool, the bond that makes us allllll ONE wherever we may be, forevermore.

 

 

 

 

(little bit of poetics. that's not a word it's 7:50 a.m., little bit early, plus I just learned Julian Bond died, I'm sad about that; also hits close to home in the age dept., makes my butt stand up and take notice this mo'nin'. Life's short. One minute you're dancing foot loose, and fancy free, folks tellin' you you're pretty and shit; the next your hair's grey, can't get out of bed, have major pain in ass you neva felt befo' eva, occasionally might have to hunt down your teeth; forgot where you put the fuckers; took 'em out while sleeping, didn't recognize 'til it came time to brush 'em; major concern at the time, was trying to make it to the toilet without a catastrophe; gotta walk down a flight of 13, do some major hall walking to get there, tap dancin' all the way.)

 

  Those are some serious ole age fuckups; plus a rant.

 

 

Every day, we have to face this racism bullshit. It makes me madder than a junkyard dog.  How mad determines how many exclamation points I have following a statement. Not too many, a good day; heaps, not a good one.Capitalization big time, I'm furious.  Lots of times, ole' Norland's not working with a full deck and really doesn't give two damns. What deck I have, is alert as a mofo. Ain't always misplacin' dem teefuses.

 

I appreciate you guys tolerating me though, keeps me from chokin' a fully baked YT. Something's wrong with YT.  Would someone please tell these fuckers that when their ancestors hit the African shores centuries ago, no one was chirpin' Yippee Yi Yae, Yippie Yi Yo at first sight.  I'm sure initially, they thought cemetaries had opened up somewhere; where was the question. You all are some scary lookin' mofos without shaving; not too good afterwards, to tell the truth. That sight of hairy pale mofos barreling atcha couldn't have been cool one bit. Black looking at heaps of White is just as scary as White looking at heaps of Black; no difference whatsoeva, other than who's doing the lookin'.

 

Our ancestors didn't VOLUNTEER to come to this joint. You Caucasoids forget that, now YOU hate US. Hate your fuckin' great (add  20) grandpappies. They started this shit,with the vessel The Jesus, now you're trying to end the shit with bullets.  I don't think that's going to work, as soon as we get really TIRED of your bullshit. You're not the ONLY bad kids on the fuckin' block; right now, it seems that way.

 

Time will tell. See ya in a few. Have baby butts to submerge tub-wise and love CBS Sunday Morning. plus my jig saw puzzles will be callin'.

 

Last edited by Norland

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