Smooch Music Releases Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise" Powerful New Video in Honor of Black History Month

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Smooch Music will be donating a significant portion of the royalties from the single of “Still I Rise” to The Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation

This week, Smooch Music Inc., dropped a powerful new video for Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise,” released in celebration of Black History Month. Rolling Stone hosted the exclusive for the reimagined track off of the 2014 posthumous LP, Caged Bird Songs.

“The video features Angelou’s voice reading the iconic poem across hip-hop beats — “You may shoot me with your words/You may cut me with your eyes/You may kill me with your hatefulness/But still, like dust, I’ll rise” — as footage of the Civil Rights Movement and current protests play.” -- Rolling Stone

A Deluxe version of Caged Bird Songs is also now available, which features 5 additional tracks including, “Pilgrim of Sorrow”, recorded at Maya’s kitchen table with Smooch Music’s CEO, Van Jewell Kantor and Producer, Shawn Rivera- one of the last recorded moments of her powerful and poignant voice.

Smooch Music will be donating a significant portion of the royalties from the single of “Still I Rise” to The Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation, whose mission is to support educational excellence and healthcare equity initiatives for all.

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"Before the iconic Dr. Maya Angelou passed away, we had the pleasure to work with her on the Caged Bird Songs album," said Larry Kantor & Van Jewell Kantor, Co-CEOs of Smooch Music. "We wanted to contribute to help rally more people with the current civil rights movement and decided with Shawn Rivera, to make a new music video to help inspire more people to continue the fight and rise up against injustice. Dr. Maya Angelou inspired the masses with her words and we want her words to carry her message that - we CAN be victorious if we RISE TOGETHER."

Caged Bird Songs is a unique musical concept created by Smooch Music COO, Shawn Rivera, that thoughtfully blends the legendary poet's words with contemporary hip-hop. Dr. Maya Angelou was an iconic American writer, poet, actor, dancer, director, composer, lecturer and one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Maya influenced many, including Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet to ever recite a poem at a Presidential Inauguration.

Dr. Maya Angelou's grandson, Colin A. Johnson, reminisces that music was such a huge part of his grandmother's life. "She loved everything, from pop to country and, of course, hip-hop. With her dedication to social activism and how she illuminated the struggles and injustices of the urban experience through prose, there's a direct correlation to hip-hop today. She was really excited about her streetwise commentary being presented in this way."

Caged Bird Songs, featuring Dr. Maya Angelou is available to stream now on Spotify. Fans can go to the Caged Bird Songs YouTube page to watch a full music video for the song “Still I Rise” and are encouraged to share with friends and family.

Caged Bird Songs Tracklist:

Public Ear
Human Family
Pow Pow
Sepia Fashion Show
Harlem Hopscotch
Pickin’ Em Up
On Aging
Ain’t That Bad
One More Round
Come And Be My Baby
The Thirteens
Africa
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
Still I Rise
In And Out of Time
Song For The Old Ones
Take Time Out
Pilgrim of Sorrow

About Caged Bird Songs:

Caged Bird Songs is a unique musical concept created by Smooch Music COO, Shawn Rivera, that thoughtfully blends the legendary poet's words with contemporary hip-hop. Dr. Angelou loved all types of music and was excited to have her words presented in a new way. The 13 tracks crackle with urgency. Her rebellious, streetwise commentary on inner-city circumstance and her braggadocious flair for colloquial slang has been perfectly paired with modern hip-hop beats. The lyrical content, underlying social context, rhythm, melody and cadence of Dr. Angelou’s early work bears a striking resemblance to the sound of current hip-hop and is, unfortunately, still relevant to today’s urban experience.

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Dana Lewis
Valerie Allen Public Relations, Inc.
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