“Get Up, Stand Up”, written by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, was the first world-charting single by The Wailers. The song appeared on the 1973 album Burnin’, and was the last song Marley ever performed on stage, several months before he died in 1981.
In 1989 Public Enemy released “Fight the Power”. The song was written for Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, backed the film’s opening credits, and played in scenes throughout the movie. This video was produced and directed by Lee.
Janelle Monae and the Wondaland artist collective wrote “Hell you Talmbout” in 2015, invoking the names of nearly 20 African-Americans killed by police or vigilantes.
This week, Trey Songz released “2020 Riots: How Many Times”.
As we mark the first day of fall, Janelle Monae hands us a last bit of summer fun with “Dance Apocalyptic” from her recently released “The Electric Lady”. How can you not love a song with a lyric “chalang-alang-alang”? In the video, Janelle departs from her signature tuxedo style and lets her hair down literally and figuratively.
The song can’t help but recall infectious tunes given to us over the years by other talented women. Here are some bands and songs that come to mind listening to “Dance Apocalyptic” – and they may have inspired Monae’s white-on-white motif: Veruca Salt in the 90s, The Bangles in the 80s, and the B-52’s in the 70s (delivering the other party song we’ll certainly play at the Apocalypse).