“I am the black song Spike Lee won’t sing, I am the black voice inauguration bells ring,” Chrisette Michele sings at the top of her new spoken word offering “No Political Genius.”
The singer, who performed at President Donald Trump’s inauguration ball on Friday (Jan. 20), has been the subject of scrutiny since news of her performance surfaced. Her participation in the inauguration even prevented filmmaker Spike Lee from using her music in his forthcoming series She’s Gotta Have It.
Michele also penned an open letter on her site, defending her decision to perform at the inauguration. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters,” she wrote. “I am here, representing you, because this is what matters.”
She responds to critics on the release, adding, “I’m no political genius/I won’t let this defeat us” and “For John Lewis and Ben Carson/Questlove, Spike Lee, and before them/I won’t divide now/That’s not smart now/God before me, I won’t back down/This is my damn America now.”
Listen to “No Political Genius,” the first track off her project Still American, below.