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Maya Angelou ‘Still I Rise’ Video Honors Black History Month & Keeps Memory Alive Proceeds to Benefit Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation

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Today, in honor of Black History Month, Smooch Music releases the powerful music video for ‘Still I Rise’ featuring the voice of iconic American writer, poet, actor, dancer, director, composer, activist, and lecturer Dr. Maya Angelou, one of the most influential voices of our time. Composed of historical footage from the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, as well as haunting images of police brutality from current protests, the video, while released in celebration of Black History Month, serves as a reminder and testament to the injustice and inequity Black communities face in our nation today. 

Watch the video here:

‘Still I Rise’ hails off the posthumously released album Caged Bird Songs via Smooch Music; a unique musical collaboration blending the lyrics and recorded vocal performances of Dr. Angelou with modern day hip-hop. While the album was released in 2014, its message remains timeless and universal. 

For this special release, Smooch Music has teamed up with NJ distributor Vydia, a company  strongly committed to empowering independent Black creators and businesses. Vydia has partnered on other notable initiatives – most recently with Edfarm’s Propel Center and A2IM’s new Black Independent Music Accelerator (BIMA). Last year Vydia launched a charitable feature for their platform that allows users to allocate a portion of their royalties to a designated charity. Smooch Music will be leveraging Vydia’s technology to donate a significant portion of the royalties from the ‘Still I Rise’ single to The Dr. Maya Angelou Foundation, whose mission is to support educational excellence and healthcare equity initiatives for all. 

Music was such a huge part of my grandmother’s life,” said Colin A. Johnson, Dr. Angelou’s grandson and founder of Caged Bird Legacy. “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.”

In tandem with the video, Smooch Music will also release a deluxe edition of Caged Bird Songs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement with the hope of creating a new generation of followers to continue Dr. Maya Angelou’s legacy and her message. Pre-save the deluxe album here

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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. 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. 

About Vydia:

Vydia is an end-to-end music technology platform that provides labels and managers with the infrastructure and tools to power their business. With a full suite of services, Vydia offers supply chain, global distribution, analytics, rights management, payments, detailed revenue reporting, and marketing. Vydia is a premium partner of leading digital service providers such as Spotify, Apple, TikTok, Vevo, YouTube, and Facebook. Combining innovative technology with industry expertise, Vydia is distribution reimagined. To learn more, please visit

Caged Bird Songs Tracklist: 

  1. Public Ear
  2. Human Family
  3. Pow Pow  
  4. Sepia Fashion Show 
  5. Harlem Hopscotch 
  6. Pickin’ Em Up  
  7. On Aging 
  8. Ain’t That Bad 
  9. One More Round 
  10. Come And Be My Baby 
  11. The Thirteens 
  12. Africa 
  13. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me 
  14. Still I Rise 
  15. In And Out of Time
  16. Song For The Old Ones
  17. Take Time Out
  18. Pilgrim of Sorrow

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