Janelle Monáe has revamped a 2015 song to spotlight female victims of police violence. “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)” is named after the social movement founded by Kimberlé Crenshaw that “called attention to the black women who have died at the hands of US police.” Some other figures who join in throughout the song are Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Chloe x Halle, Tierra Whack, Isis V., Zoë Kravitz, and plenty more. On the song, the vocalists name over 50 names, using repetition to make the point loud and clear:
(Hell you talmbout, Hell you talmbout), (Hell you talmbout, Hell you talmbout)/ Rekia Boyd, say her name, Rekia Boyd, say her name, Rekia Boyd, say her name, Rekia Boyd, won’t you say her name/
Latasha Walton, say her name, Latasha Walton, say her name, Latasha Walton, say her name/ Say her name, won’t you say her name, Atatiana Jefferson, Atatiana Jefferson, Atatiana Jefferson/ Say her name, say her name, say her name, say her name/
Janelle also made sure to say a few words about the song’s intended message. “Please join us as we honor the 61 Black girls and women whose lives mattered and should be with us today,” she types. “Black women and girls are often left out of the conversation when it comes to police brutality. Today we say their names. We tell their stories.”
Monáe originally released the song in 2015 as a bonus track for her album The Electric Lady. Initially titled “Hell You Talmbout,” the song featured members of Monáe’s record label, Wondaland Records, including Jidenna, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, and Roman GianArthur.
Prior to this was Monáe’s singles “Stronger” and “Turntables.” The latter marked Janelle Monáe’s first official release since last year’s “That’s Enough,” which appeared on the soundtrack of the live-active re-release of Lady and the Tramp. Her last studio LP, Dirty Computer, made landfall in 2018 and earned Monáe a top ten placement on the Billboard 200 thanks to 54,000 album equivalent units sold.
Be sure to press play on Janelle Monáe’s brand new “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)” track.