[ALA.NI\“Lament for Emmett Till”]
In “Lament for Emmett Till,” ALA.NI recites a 1955 poem of the same name by the radical activist, journalist and organizer Claudia Jones over Adrian Younge’s lush, cinematic production.
Photo: Bret Loeb
Today, ALA.NI (above right) released her video for the Adrian Younge-produced single “Lament for Emmett Till” (Amazon Original).
The video was directed by ALA.NI and animated by RUFFMERCY, known for his music video work for Run The Jewels, Thom Yorke, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, and many more. The achingly-beautiful song was originally released on August 28th to memorialize the 65th anniversary of Till’s death.
In “Lament for Emmett Till,” ALA.NI recites a 1955 poem of the same name by the radical activist, journalist and organizer Claudia Jones over Adrian Younge’s lush, cinematic production. NPR featured the song in “We Insist: A Timeline Of Protest Music In 2020” and KCRW recently named it “Today’s Top Tune.” The song is available to stream and purchase on Amazon Music.
Watch the Video For “Lament for Emmett Till” (Amazon Original) via YouTube: https://youtu.be/Azq2rf9aTWA
Listen to “Lament for Emmett Till” (Amazon Original) on Amazon Music: http://amzn.to/LamentForEmmettTill
“The death of Emmett Till illuminates the expendability of Black lives in America,” says Adrian Younge. “We must continue to highlight the atrocities that plague our system, this incident serving as a catalyst that galvanized the Black community against racism and social injustice.”
“It has been a real experience uniting with Adrian Younge on this Emmett Till protest project,” says ALA.NI. “We had to record outside of our normal way of working together, which is usually at his L.A studio. But due to COVID-19, we worked remotely. Me in Paris and London, Adrian in L.A. Something neither of us like to do, but we found a way, across the high seas, connecting our musical bond. The song is important to us both to deliver. The message needs to be heard. JUSTICE.”
ALA.NI is an official ambassador of The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, which supports the campaign to seek justice for Till. The Foundation is currently asking the public to sign a petition demanding the FBI release the findings of their recent reinvestigation into his murder as a matter of urgency. All proceeds from the “Lament for Emmett Till” (Amazon Original) will be donated to the foundation, you can sign/share the petition HERE.
On August 28th 1955, at the age of just 14, Emmett Louis Till was kidnapped, brutally beaten and murdered after being wrongfully accused of making sexual advances towards a white female clerk, Carolyn Bryant, at a Mississippi grocery store. His murderers were acquitted, only to then confess in a paid magazine interview months later knowing they couldn’t be retried. After his mother bravely decided to have an open-casket funeral, Till posthumously became a symbol of the Civil Rights movement. With his mutilated, unrecognizable body laying bare the brutal reality of the Jim Crow era for all to see, over 100,000 people came to visit the casket and pay their respects to Till as his body lay there for five days.
Inspiring huge demonstrations and condemnations from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks (who once remarked: “I thought about Emmett Till, and I couldn’t go back [to the back of the bus]”), Till’s death is widely cited as playing an instrumental part in galvanizing what would become the decades-long struggle for African-Americans to live a life free of racial discrimination and state-sanctioned violence. A struggle that is still being fought tooth and nail today. More info on Till’s story can be found on the ETLF website HERE.
Although the FBI may have reopened the case and ‘The Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act’ (which seeks to make lynching a federal crime) is currently making its way through the US judiciary system, justice for Till still remains far out of reach, not least because Republican Senator Rand Paul is controversially blocking the bill, and Carolyn Bryant herself admitted in a 2007 interview that she had lied about the events that led to Till’s murder.
Sign/Share The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation’s Petition Demanding the FBI Release Findings of Recent Reinvestigation Into Till’s Murder
Amazon Music listeners can find “Lament for Emmett Till (Amazon Original)” on the Produced By Adrian Younge playlist, which also features tracks from Estelle, Black Thought, Gallant, Terrace Martin and Georgia Anne Muldrow. Customers can also simply ask, “Alexa play the Amazon Original by ALA.NI” in the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android and on Alexa-enabled devices. In addition to the new song, Amazon Music listeners can access hundreds of Amazon Originals featuring both emerging and established artists across numerous genres, available to stream and purchase only on Amazon Music.
In January 2020 ALA.NI released her self-written, produced and arranged second album, ACCA, which featured guests such as Iggy Pop and rapper/actor Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Uncut Gems, Sorry To Bother You, Atlanta). Arriving following her 2016 debut, You & I, ALA.NI has since clocked up heavy praise by the likes of NPR Music, The FADER, Vibe, Stereogum, Associated Press, and Nylon, as well as esteemed fans in the likes of David Lynch, David Byrne and Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
About Adrian Younge
Adrian Younge has carved out an incomparable niche in the music community. He’s served as a producer, composer, studio head of Linear Labs, and owner of The Artform Studio in Highland Park, CA. Adrian, along with his production partner Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), is best known of late for work on the stellar score to the Netflix/Marvel series Luke Cage. Over the years, the versatile Younge has collaborated with artists including Jay-Z, Wu Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Ceelo, Raphael Saadiq, and more.