"We are dying—and I want you to know that, because if I don't tell somebody, who the fuck is gonna know?" questions New York-based artist Cae Monāe in her new 13-minute mix, "3 TRANSGODDESSES." The track is a demand for greater visibility of transgender murders, acknowledging all the women whose deaths have been wrongly overlooked and, in some cases, completely ignored. Composed of layered electronic beats and Monāe's potent spoken word, the mix is at once pained and powerful—a voice for all the "TRANSGODDESSES" who weren't given an opportunity to be heard.
Monāe's track is divided into three separate chapters, opening with sludgy trap production and confident cocky lyricism. "I'm so excited," she says through a mousey pitched-up filter. "Take my picture, tag me, put me on IG, let me see that selfie with me in the background, he, he, ha." With the introduction midway of dramatic orchestral strings, Monāe begins commemorating "three trans goddesses" as planets sitting in the sky "looking upon us." The final act sees Monāe bluntly referencing the work many trans women do for survival: "Do you know what it's like to be ready to suck dick for $50?" she asks as sirens sound off in the background.
2016 was the deadliest year on record for trans people, in the first 11 months alone rounding up 26 trans murders. According to the Advocate, almost all victims were people of color, and the majority of those were black transgender individuals. These statistics do not include "individuals whose deaths were not reported or investigtated, nor victims who were misgendered by police and media or simply not recognized as trans women in death."
Listen to Cae Monāe's "3 TRANSGODDESSES," below.