- FIRST SINGLE, “WAKE UP EVERYBODY,” FROM TOBE NWIGWE AVAILABLE NOW
- EP FEATURES NEW RECORDINGS FROM TOBE NWIGWE, AS WELL AS BRENT FAIYAZ, TINASHE, FREDDIE GIBBS AND INFINITY SONG
The “Music For The Movement/Black History Always” EP is set for release February 26. The EP is the second volume of the ongoing project between The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture, and Hollywood Records. The EP aligns with ESPN’s “Black History Always” initiative which was announced yesterday.
Thematically, Volume II balances the realities of Black America’s continued struggles, while also celebrating Black beauty and offering messages of hope. The “Black History Always” EP is the follow up to “I Can’t Breathe/Music For the Movement,” which was released last fall and drew national attention from Associated Press and ABC’s Good Morning America.
Like Vol. I (I Can’t Breathe), “Black History Always” features reimagined, historically significant songs, as well as an original song and a spoken word piece, made by and for Black America with contemporary artists. The message of hope is that everyone sees the beauty and history in Black culture. Each track has original artwork, created by Black artists.
Though Black History Month is celebrated in February, Black history is made every day, and the EP celebrates that in music and art. With “HERstory” being made this month with former California Senator Kamala Harris becoming the first woman of color to hold the office of Vice President of the United States, the theme of Black History Always is even more significant.
Tobe Nwigwe’s interpretation of Melvin & The Blue Notes’ (featuring Teddy Pendergrass) “Wake Up Everybody,” is plaintive and celebratory at once, and is set for release January 29. The song explores society’s shortcomings and encourages humanity to fight for a brighter future in which we take care of our elderly, education is prioritized, and drug addiction is eradicated. Houston-based Nwigwe captured the nation’s attention with a transcendental live rendition of “Wake Up Everybody” on the Presidential Inauguration Committee’s “We Are One” livestream event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXcTg76jXZI.
Grammy-nominated Brent Faiyaz’ original song, “Eden,” will be released February 12. This soulful R&B track ponders a common observation many have about their Creator; why doesn’t God simply intervene to make the world a better place? With subtle nods to police brutality and hardship, the song wonders whether the Black community’s prayers are going unanswered. Singer/Songwriter Faiyaz hails from Columbia, Maryland, and was recently named one of YouTube’s Black Voices for 2021.
Grammy and BET-nominated singer/songwriter Tinashe offers a contemporary recording of “I’m Every Woman.” Originally released in 1978, “I’m Every Woman” was Chaka Khan’s iconic debut solo single. The song embodies female strength and empowerment, and the connectedness of all women. At a time when Black women deserve their flowers the most, this record stands tall. Tinashe is from Lexington, Kentucky, and has collaborated with many artists, from Ty Dolla Sign to Britney Spears, making her a much sought-after R&B artist.
Grammy-nominated, critically acclaimed, and Gary, Indiana native, Freddie Gibbs recorded Gil Scott Heron’s “Winter In America.” Originally released in 1975, the song in an unapologetic examination of American colonialism, the absence of democracy, and racism. The song depicts America as a dystopian state in which, “Democracy is rag-time on the corner,” “The forest is burned beneath the highway,” “Robins are perched in barren treetops,” and “No one is fighting because no one knows what to save.” Tragically, these themes still resonate today, over 45 years later.
Rounding out the “Black History Always” EP, is a spoken word piece from Roc Nation’s Infinity Song, aptly named “Undefeated.” The thought-provoking “Undefeated” is an important call to action track expressing the urgent need for the reframing of the Black narrative and being the authors of Black history. Infinity Song is a five-piece sibling band that formed in 2014 in New York. All talented singers, songwriters and musicians, Infinity Song has collaborated with Jon Batiste, Kanye West, Tori Kelly and many others.
About The Undefeated: The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, www.TheUndefeated.com, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of Black athletes, culture and related issues. In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to be a thought-leader on race, sports and culture in the country – convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.