Monáe, Janelle - Hell You Talmbout Lyrics

Baby, ooh
Baby, ooh
Baby, ooh
Baby, ohh

[Verse 1:]
Bombs on the floor
Smoke in the mirror
Girls get their hair done
In electric jungles
Drunk man comes
Stopping the limo
He said he got a gun
But we keep on jamming on
Red, white, and blue
Here come the sirens
Only to dance
With the little girls on the corner
There's a war in the streets
Nobody speaks
And now a boy laying on the ground

Now what the hell
Hell you talking 'bout?
Now what the hell
Hell you talking 'bout?

[Verse 2:]
Coca leaf
From Indone'
Travels down
To ghetto streets, right to ya' hand
Hooking kids
Hooking mothers
To get you high
You're stealing from your brother's friends
The poor man eats
Off of rich men's dollars
The dope man, looking cool
He pullin' girls on the regular
But now he's in jail for life
Taxman dollars



[Verse 3:]
Staying after school
Cause you wanna go to college
The burgers ain't paying off
And you be cussin' while you're cooking 'em
But still you bop
And push that mop
And dream about
The day you're finally free at last
Across the street
Limping lovers
Drinking summer fun
Snake eyes are gonna roll
We're laughing together right
Right when the shooting comes
Baby what the hell you talking 'bout



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Monáe, Janelle Hell You Talmbout Comments
  1. David Benjamin

    David Byrne covers this in Utopia on Broadway with permission.

  2. Vira Lynn

    Found this song from Talking to Strangers!!! Gives me chills! Great song. Bless y'all.

    Angelika R.

    This is how I found this song too. So glad I listened to that audiobook and ventured my way over here. Powerful message.

  3. Laua'e

    This song shouldn't have to keep adding verses year after year. Praying for a time when this nonsense treatment of brown and black people is over.

  4. coreycox2345

    Powerful. Beautiful. I love that David Byrne incorporated this in his recent work. I wish he had found a way to include the originals.

  5. Bill Moree

    Michael Stewart

    Say his name


  6. Bob Ballou

    David Byrne brought me here. This is so powerful. I am not a churchgoer, but this brought me to the alter of respect, homage, anger, change, and hope.

  7. Benjamin Easter

    So grateful Malcom Gladwell used this piece in his most recent book! It’s a wonderful and important song. I listen to it every morning now.

  8. Shari Dogan

    Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book features this song! I had never heard of it! So glad to know it now! Thank you Malcolm and Janelle for immortalizing the lives of the voiceless!

  9. Michael Cucchi

    Has this really only been seen 115,000 times? This is epic music.

  10. Arman Bath

    Gladwell brought me here

  11. Morgan B

    I heard this or a recent protest, had no idea janelle wrote this. Powerful

  12. Bhaskar Gandavabi

    So powerful! I tear up every time I listen

  13. SirViette

    Malcolm Gladwell brought me here. His audiobook “Talking to Strangers” tells the story of Sandra Bland, and the song plays in between chapters.

    Alan C.

    @Dian Baker Me too! Powerful.

    Allen Johnson

    Me too !!

    Katie Buckley

    Me three

    Laura Lucio

    Me too. You can't listen to this song and not feel it in your bones.

  14. xMiStyleZ

    GENERAL DEFINITIONS. "Talmbout" is one spelling of a word that represents the African American Vernacular English pronunciation of the words "talking" followed by the word "about".

  15. Ryan Fulcher

    Hell Ya.

  16. olufemi jesumbo

    All I can say is damn! This is powerful.

  17. Fon Dufe

    This makes me cry

  18. OptimisticCynic715

    @4:08 - Believe Women?

  19. Mama Kyle

    I get this is old, but I want to respond. Walter Scott was a case where a cop acted poorly and was prosecuted with manslaughter, yet Scott resisted arrest and allegedly reached for a taser then ran away. With Eric Garner, the cops were unnecessarily rough, yet he resisted arrest and died not by gun but by heart attack cause he was obese. I do think the cop that was being overly rough needs to be prosecuted. Now Trayvon Martin sadly was escalated into violence yet he, Trayvon, bashed Zimmerman's head into concrete thus causing him to fear for his life. Thus all this is leading me to think cops need training in de-escalation. Now, I do think BLM likes to play "Scream before facts are released". I also think a great portion of media likes to do this. For example, MTV released a while back a video filled with lies such as Sandra Bland being killed by cops during a traffic violation when it was suicide or Sean Bell who was not shot due to just a bachelor party but because he was in a high crime area with felons and made a run at undercover cops after they announced themselves. Now I tried supporting BLM until I realized that a lot of people in it think cops just start their day thinking "Let's Go Kill Some Guys In The Hood!". When I try to correct or give facts I was bashed and told the facts were lies. So yeah.

  20. Saniya Jones

    Emmett till got killed because people said he whistled at a white lady how sad they also blamed a child

  21. tennyson sauraan

    truly powerful

  22. Neal Andersen

    Dont create invisible walls

    Amy McGraw-Pate

    those are yours.

  23. Martin Lupowitz

    Too many more names since this song was published.

  24. physiqueDrummond

    Would be cool if the names where listed in the video description...

  25. tiktikivid

    #stitchtheirname too

  26. Sara Jankowski

    I just saw David Byrne last night. The encore song was "Hell You Talmbout" with added names, with Janelle's permission. This song needs to be sung; thank you for this video. The arts help to keep us sane in this tragic time. More artists (dancers, writers, musicians, actors, visual artists) need to make social justice art. Artists have the ability to create powerful works of art to make visible the horrors of society.

  27. C T

    This should be our new NATIONAL ANTHEM

  28. Asano Sokato

    I want to learn more about Supernova, but it's a practically unsearchable name (unless you already know at least something about her).

  29. Malika Diza

    SANDRA BLAND SAY HER NAME!!!!! Rip to all these people 😢

  30. _khepera_

    ASÉ... say their names!! ❤️🖤💚

  31. MrLedeberg

    i know this song because of a cover david byrne brought of this number yesterday at ghent jazz festival, both cover and original are super intense

  32. LipstickOnATurd

    Why isn't this an anthem for our nation?!

  33. ingatswetrust504


  34. grantleleux

    Dave Byrne brought me here

  35. jainubeezy1

    Steven Utash, say his name!

  36. jainubeezy1

    Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Say their names, say their names, say their names, why don't you say their names!

    Amy McGraw-Pate

    no. write your own fucking song.

  37. Ndiphiwe Ndlebe

    aggressive positive energy

  38. Thato Glen

    the drum does it! So African!

  39. Zibusiso Mahlangu

    King Bhambatha( say his name)
    King Cetshwayo (say his name)
    King Dinizulu (say his name)
    King Mabhoko (say his name)
    King Nyabela (say his name)
    Chief Sekhukhune (say his name)
    King Ngungunyane (say his name
    Chief Makhado (say his name)
    Steve Biko (say his name)
    Mama Mantatisi (say her name)
    Chief Langalibalele (say his name)

  40. Born STRONG Athletics

    Emotional, while reflecting on how quickly the list of names continue to grow: STEPHON CLARK & DANNY RAY THOMAS!!

  41. wayne47able

    Africa flows through this

  42. guitarvocs

    David Byrne brought me here. He is performing this song as a second encore on his latest tour. This is a powerful and simple masterpiece, and I'm grateful to the artist who wrote it. May there come a day no one has to write songs like this again. "Silence is the enemy and sound is the weapon." Indeed.

    Ivan Savorgnan

    me paso exactamente lo mismo luego de ver el show de Byrne en Buenos Aires. La canción es muy potente...

    Mark Webb

    David Byrne brought me here also....powerful song as the finale to the setlist. The message is clear and obvious. I don't know the names but will make sure I learn about them and say their names...


    What the hell?! We only got one encore! DB brought me here too :)

  43. Garrett Phillips

    David Byrne is closing his current show with a cover of this song.

  44. J Smith

    Outstanding. Great Job.


    This is oddly reminds me of "Fight Club" "His Name is Robert Paulson" scene...

  46. Jasmine Grace

    God rest this souls of every name mentioned in this song Rest In Peace 🙏🏾

  47. kupcakek1

    Loved it! Awesome!

  48. Brandy Quick

    The power of melanin how they can take on differences. I love you guys for this.. thank you for this I see the truth and your talent too.

  49. MsIvory Seattle


  50. Pretty Caramel

    September 2017...everyday, we're adding names to say. We will never forget.

  51. Britney Hein

    Such a powerful song. I came across it while searching for songs that provoke social change and this one was just amazing.

  52. Meuh Vénézuelah

    Wow! <3

  53. Darras Lattier

    This ain't the original

    David Wilby

    I saw David Byrne perform this at Manchester Apollo this year and it blew my mind soo powerful

    Amy McGraw-Pate

    she has two songs with this title, the other is quite different.

  54. Miss Teri

    Amen. Thank You Sir. God Bless You and Yours...

  55. SherwoodAnderson

    Charleena Lyles #SayHerName (Killed by Seattle Police, 6/18/17)

    Sage Silverstein

    TEARS.  That is my neck of the woods. It is EVERYWHERE.

    We must rise!!  RLOVEUTION. 
    So pissed we have to even SAY HIS NAME!!/ Her names
    And My Gospel choir won't even sing it!!

    Some old white person holds the purse strings.
    Hundred years later, ain't nuthin' fuckin changed.

    Let's DO FLASH MOBS EVERYWHERE, please start a FLash MOB in your community. Share this awesome powerful work.  It cannot GO DOWN LIKE THIS. Not on my watch
    Thank God we had MLK, cause without his lessons on love IDK where I would go with all this righteous rage.

    I guess I weep instead

  56. Coleman Hamilton


  57. Dial ToneTP

    This brings tears to my eyes

  58. The Oracle

    that WOMAN....omg! raising POWER like that. Ase'

  59. samurai1833

    Too many names

  60. Shadow King286

    Only racist people will dislike this fire

  61. Professor Chocolate Cake

    So saying the same sentence over and over again and lazily saying "What the hell are you talking about?" is music now? What a pretentious joke this song is.

    JaDae Barlow

    Professor Chocolate Cake It's not just supposed to be a "good song" ,it's the message behind it that matters.

    Maya Chorney

    It isn't a song meant to be enjoyed, it's a rallying cry to stop killing people because they are black. Why should such horrible acts of hate be mellowed out by pretty music? Their anger is real, and they want people to know it.

    DJ Kayoz

    You clearly missed the point of the song. It is not supposed to be a Top 40 hit.

    Amy McGraw-Pate

    oh fuck off.

  62. Janet Baker

    Thank you all a million times for the relevant piece. Jordan Baker who is also mentioned in this song is and will always be my son. He was my only child.  Oh my God from the bottom of my heart and depths of my soul I thank you!!!! I can't stop crying the passion as the names are chanted the cadence is so comforting.

    Jordan was murdered hear in Houston by an off duty police officer moonlighting as a security guard. Jordan was unarmed and his Civil liberties were violated. Today (2.5.17) should be Jordan's 30th birthday, To everyone else it is Superbowl Sunday everyone is all smiles for the revenue it generates and fun events while heinous acts of homicides that is more like genocide with no accountability have plagued this City for years.  A couple of weeks ago on January 16, 2017 was Martin Luther King Holliday and the 3 year anniversary for Jordan's death. All around the country the 'I have a dream' speech was recited. Martin had a dream but I'm living a nightmare. I am destroyed I weep everyday but today is something more awful than you can imagine. The pain is unfathomable. I try to be his voice but if feels like no one is listening or cares. So again thank you so much for mentioning him you'll never know what this means to me.  The message at the end is so profound, poignant and gives hope to the disenfranchised. I will forward to other family members maybe they haven't seen this and I know it will bless them as well.  #jordanbaker

    Austin Lopez

    Janet, thank you a million times over for your courage to speak. His name is on our lips and he will be remembered. Much love and peace to you

    Theresa Craps

    Oh Janet, my heart aches for you. I can not begin to imagine the pain you are going through.


    Ma'am, bless you and bless your beloved son.

    janine gastineau

    Bless you always Janet Baker. I cannot imagine your suffering, but I send you all the love I can muster.

  63. ethiopianhabesha

    On this day, 1/27/2017, the SAME day right-wing america held their "March For Life-Anti-Abortion" walk, it was revealed that in 1955, Carolyn B. Donham, straight up LIED on 14-year old EMMETT TILL--a lie that was paid for with his beautiful, precious, and brilliant life. So while folks marched today for lives in the womb, remember, lives, BLACK LIVES outside the womb are greatly loved as well!

    4:09 EMMETT TILL, EMMETT TILL, EMMETT TILL say his name!!! EMMETT TILL, won't you say his name!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. jer3l

    i'll never forget i went out to some club in nyc and this came on

  65. Imani Moore

    Say her name

  66. Imani Moore

    Say his name

  67. anaya t

    This gives me chills each and every time I see it. Praying for my people, but God helps those who help themselves. We need to reunite.

  68. Traemon McCabe

    Great job guys. thanks

  69. Alexis Cobbs

    Is that Rio from Skin Wars? I wanted him to win...
    Wonderful song.

  70. ARIA G

    This song is really catchy and will be in our heads all day now lol

  71. Forever 28

    Too many names. Too many times. This always knots me up, chokes me up, tears me up. I'm an ally. I bear witness. I do all I can, as often as I can. I am listening. I hold myself & others accountable.

    I say their names.

    Sean Bell
    Walter Scott
    Jerame Reid
    Phillip White
    Eric Garner
    Trayvon Martin
    Freddit Gray
    Aiyana Jones
    Sandra Bland
    Kimani Gray
    John Crawford III
    Michael Brown
    Miriam Carey
    Sharonda (Coleman) Singleton
    Emmett Till
    Tommy Yancy
    Jordan Baker
    Amado Diallou

    (auto correct effs with names -- my bad for not proofreading)

    ps... I'm no race traitor. I uphold the worth of the entire human race -- though people like you, talking about race traitors, sure challenge that.


    "i'm an ally" you idiots are so fucking naive it'd be hilarious if it wasn't so sad; tf you think these people are gonna do? "oh no, i'm one of the GOOD whites." like really? that's gonna save your ass? there are people right now that are recording- for posterity- the names and information of every race-traitor fuck like you, and they will remember.

    Khalil’s Archive

    Treyvon not Tayvon

    ᑭᕼᑌᑎKᗩᗪEᒪᒪIᑕ Şᑌᑎ ᗯIᘔᘔᗩᖇᗪ

    @leshtricity Hopefully you've grown in the last year. Step1 Pull your head out your ass.



    leshtricity Maybe writing that in the past makes you think you’re better - guess what? The only idiot here is you. I see your point but that was still plain rude. And are you assuming race?

  72. tanham007

    I cry every time I hear this song...... Lord HELP US!

    June Jalle

    tanham007 Glad I'm not the only one!


    David Bryne updated this song for Coachella. I started to cry.

    Eric Rust

    I just saw Byrne in Nashville at the Ryman and he closed second encore with this song.

    Eric Rust

    It was powerful.

  73. boss betch


  74. nzuri melanin African Malaika


  75. Angry Black Man

    i like this song it's a war song for me but i don't like this white guy in battery with you this is an engage song for our people, for our fight so there is no place for white people there.

    Amy McGraw-Pate

    that's up to Janelle.

  76. Lock Smith

    Such a powerful messagel!!!

  77. MikElite04

    Tommy Yancy was my uncle


    MikElite04 I'm so so so so sorry love. May he rest knowing that his people are standing up for him


    Ella Simone

    Saying his name. So sorry for your loss


    His name will live on <3.

  78. Alexandria Bryan

    I remember Janelle and the Wonderland family did this last year at the #EephusTour in Philadelphia and I cried my eyes out…. I WILL FOREVER APPRECIATE THIS SONG.

  79. Zipporah Michel

    Protesting when you lit af >:D


    Zipporah Michel #highniggashit

  80. monace Productions

    I need this song!!!!!

  81. Tony8325788

    Great song! though what does the "AAA" signify in the background?

  82. Berlin Blount

    silence is the enemy and that sound is the weapon!


    Say their name!!!!

  83. Maria Fernanda Andia

    this is power

    Professor Chocolate Cake

    No it's not. Where's the battery slot?

    J.O. White

    Professor Chocolate Cake be quiet

    J.O. White

    Shut up if you don't like the song

    Coleman Hamilton

    Professor Chocolate Cake ha lol, but this is a serious problem

  84. MrFlip0525

    what drumline does this cadence come from

    Professor Chocolate Cake

    The animals marched in two by two.

  85. Magalee Marin C.

    I cry every time.

  86. shnglbot

    I like the song but I wish the video had photos of these people whose names you say, instead of just seeing the artists the entire time. I do like seeing the artists but we need to see the victims too


    Hey. I hear you. But I think it’s a really good opportunity for us as the people who are watching to truly engage by researching and learning about all these names. It’s a LOT of energy to connect with the energy of these lost ones and channel it into a piece of art. This is already a significant offering and honouring.

    Laura Lucio

    If you wanna go down that rabbit hole, you can also say "why didn't they include all the murder scenes too." This is an art piece raising awareness. Not a documentary.

    Mighty Google can give you all the photos you want. It is a creative music video.

  87. OX1125

    WOW! Such an amazing and powerful song.#STOPTHEVOILENCE#BLACKLIVESMATTER.

  88. Jabari Ashe

    The four people who took the time to dislike this need to take that deconstructive energy and put it towards helping humanity!!! SMDH

    Nathaniel J Franco

    Nice constructive comment


    It is a constructive comment, I agree. And I'm not sure why someone would down vote this song.

  89. Lennon English

    fantastic video! the message is clear. #REVOLUTION

  90. Cara Rose Wyatt

    Powerful. This is amazing and should have more views.

    Sage Silverstein

    SHARE IT, often!!!I have had a f-ing nough

  91. I am Lita Wi

    I don't know why, but I teared up too. Maybe because this was so powerful. We are all connected like Amel Larrieux said "every time one of goes down , it's like I'm looking at my own blood on the ground". Great piece...too bad it wasn't more widely shared.

    J.O. White

    Oober Dope! At THE recital for my dance show they had a dance where 3 dudes get shot then people with catuion tape outfits come out And dance to this song

    J.O. White

    They did iT at all 5 shows And THE little kids dance miss king shops incharge of the dance school Saïd how would you dance if your president was racist sexist And is making his billionare friends rich

  92. Jay Ables

    This is awesome!

  93. LadyKet


  94. Andrea Dawson

    Whoaaaaaaa...powerful with little to no words!

  95. Marc

    There's a Riot Goin On