Singer performs on The Today Show alongside Wondaland Records labelmates
Janelle Monáe was silenced as she tried to deliver a speech about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement on US TV this week.
Monae appeared on US talk morning programme The Today Show on Friday (August 14) alongside Wondaland labelmates Jidenna, Deep Cotton and Roman GianArthur, to perform three songs, including breakout hit ‘Tightrope’ and new single ‘Yoga’.
It was after performing ‘Hell You Talmbout’, a protest song that features the Wondaland crew chanting the names of black citizens who’ve been killed in the US by police or while in custody, that Monáe attempted to address the audience directly.
“Yes Lord,” she said in footage picked up by the cameras. “God bless America. God bless all who’ve lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know that we stand tall today. We will not be silenced.”
However, Today show anchor Savannah Guthrie began speaking over her, saying: “We’ll have much more from Janelle Monáe … coming up.”
At present, the show’s website features videos of the ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Yoga’ performances, but not ‘Hell You Talmbout’.
The song features chants of names including Eric Garner, Walter Scott, John Crawford, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Michael Brown.
Earlier this week (August 12), Monáe and Jidenna led a protest march against police brutality in Philadelphia. They followed it up with the release of ‘Hell You Talmbout’.
A statement about the song was released via Monáe’s Instagram. It read: “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?”