On October 16th, S-Curve Records/BMG release “WTML (Don’t Shoot!)” – a gripping song which was created as an urgent and direct response to police brutality with the goal of creating awareness of the Black Live Matters movement and providing hope during this dark time. The song is composed and performed by Ray Angry and Imani Coppola. Ray is a keyboardist, record producer and composer, best known for his work with The Roots and Amy Schumer. He has also collaborated with Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, Sting, Queen Latifah, Leslie Odom Jr. and many others. In 2018 he released his instrumental album “Ray Angry One.” Imani is a singer-songwriter and violinist known for work under her own name and under the guise of Little Jackie.
A short film/video recreates scenes of protesters in the streets – all wearing WTML masks. The video was directed by T.L. Benton (Common, Maxwell, Snoop Dogg, Robert Glasper) and features a guest appearance by Kendra Foster (best known for her work with George Clinton & PFunk Allstars and D’Angelo). Click HERE to view MXDWN’s premiere of the music video.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the song will go to MUSICARES® and the Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center.
On the sentiment behind the song Ray Angry says, “Music is a Universal Language, which I intent to use to unite communities and create social and economic change, which is needed in today’s societies worldwide. Don’t Shoot – ART IS LOVE.”
Delving further into the history and importance of this song Imani Coppola explains, “Ray and I had written this song while at a writing camp for Leslie Odom Jr. in San Francisco. It was never released, and I knew as the BLM movement grew that now was the time to revisit it. Systemic racism, unfortunately, is always a relevant topic, perhaps more now than ever. This song is extremely personal to me as my own brother was a victim of police brutality in high school. A track and field, music, and math star, brutally bludgeoned by two drunk off duty plain clothes police officers for no reason whatsoever. He was simply walking back home from a 7-11 snack run and ended up in the hospital for days. During the protests I was so beside myself with rage and frustration, I took to the streets with the rest of the world. But I felt like my place of protest was and always has been in the studio and that is how I could make a real change in the world.”
Watch WTML (DON’T SHOOT!) below.