Hell Y’all Ain’t Talmbout: An Epic Response to Trans Erasure [Audio]

This week, awQward artist Vita E Cleveland, dropped a response track to Janelle Monae’s summer release, “Hell You Talmbout.” While many have praised Monae as creating a song for the current movement, many in the black trans community have noticed a glaring mistake in the selection of names uplifted in her piece, which was created to highlight the black victims of state violence. Nowhere in Monae’s song is there any mention of the 19+ trans people who have been murdered so far in 2015- the majority of whom are black trans women. “Hell Y’all Ain’t Talmbout” is part anthem, part act of resistance that pays homage to some of the black trans people lost to violence, and serves as a call to action for those invested in black lives.

Listen to the track below as well as catch the lyrics provided by Vita E herself!

Hell Y’all Ain’t Talmbout

by Vita E

Verse 1

Ain’t no time to pray, I said ain’t no time to waste

Y’all be actin like trans people don’t be dying everyday

But we don’t show up in your songs, we just show up in your bags,

And we don’t tagged in your statuses, they just status our bodies wit tags!!

Fuck all this microaggression

Fuck this internalized oppression

Y’all seeing its time for war, we ain’t got no luxury for concessions

Speaking truth outta my mouth,

Do yall care what I’m talking about?

Let me clear it up if you doubt, it’s all us or none of us, flat out.


Hell y’all ain’t talmbout

What the hell y’all ain’t talkin about

We puttin in work, Y’all leaving us out

He’ll y’all ain’t talmbout

Let me clear it up if you doubt,

It’s all of us or none of us, flat out

Hell y’all ain’t talmbout

What the hell y’all ain’t talkin about

Y’all using our bodies and silence our mouths?

He’ll y’all ain’t talmbout

Let me clear it up if you doubt,

It’s all of us or none of us, flat out

Verse 2

Can you tell that I’m mad? Can you tell that it’s bad?

I’m like a disappointed dad from all the missed opportunities had!

Time to get it in check, this time I’m going for the neck,

Cause some of y’all killin us are the very same people we vow to protect

Time to give the mind a jerk, cause this erasure got me going berserk,

You give me a wink and throw me smirk and then get mad when I want you to work!

Act like we ain’t out here marching wit y’all ,

Act like we ain’t mad when one of you fall,

Act like we ain’t out here fightin the law, when it’s time to go in you know just who to call!!

TRANS, isn’t an option or choice!

TRANS, it’s power, it’s music, it’s voice!

TRANS, it’s a revolutionary breath that we defend with a fight to the death!

TRANS, the people who will never quit!

TRANS, the people that’s doin this shit,

So let me clear it up if you doubt, it’s all of us or none of us, flat out.


Elisha Walker

Ashton O’Hara

Candis Kapri

Shade Schuler

India Clarke

Amber Monroe

London Chanel

Penny Proud

Jasmin Vash Payne

Ty Underwood

Lamia Beard

Papi Edwards

Mya Hall

WE will NOT be erased!

We will NOT stop,

Until our #ashtags and shares fill up the world like the flames of vikings honoring our fallen


Until we melt down the walls of justification for our deaths, and with them, we will create swords

of shares, status posts and snapchats!

an arsenal of emails, pyrotechnic petitions, tanks of tweets,

Nuclear warheads of name drops and exposure of the hateful that would rather see us die than


And as Lady Dane Figueroa says,

“You will stand with us at all our intersections,

Or you will not stand with us.”

It is time, it is time to speak your voice.


Get it in your steps, say it in your songs,

Say it in the streets when you stop traffic for our deaths,

Say it, for the revolution that we need to be there for us, just as much as we want it to be there

for you.

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