Our first introduction to Sheila E.‘s politically-charged album ICONIC: Message 4 America served a dual purpose as a tribute to the inimitable artist Prince and a pointed commentary of injustice, racially-driven police brutality and terrorist bombings between 2015-2017. When the cover project received a proper debut last year, the timely messages still resonated with listeners living in the shadow of “45” and his ridiculous antics.
Of course, no one could’ve foreseen the unimaginable events of 2020. But here we are again, fighting for justice, mourning the deaths of innocent Black men and women and honoring the life of another music legend (Bonnie Pointer) gone too soon. Well, not only did Sheila pick the perfect tune to serve double duty – her cover of The Pointer Sisters‘ “Yes We Can Can” – she also gave it a bit of an update and an official music video.
“Yes We Can Can (Redux)” is heavy on the bass with a defiant and funky vibe. Escovedo may have tweaked the groove, but she kept her friends nearby. Brides of Funkenstein singer Lynn Mabry and our girl Sy Smith put some vocal stank all up and through the tune, while iconic activist Angela Davis delivers a call to action disguised as spoken word. The clip ends in memoriam with names like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd keeping the #BlackLivesMatter movement ever-present in our minds.
The uplifting message gives us a boost to fight another day. Check out “Yes We Can Can (Redux)” below, download ICONIC: Message 4 America for your protest playlist and pledge to do your part to be a positive agent of change.