The Undefeated’s ‘Liberated / Music For The Movement, Vol. 3’ EP features new recordings from Cordae & Common, Lucky Daye, Yara Shahidi, Chlöe, and Kamasi Washington
‘Liberated / Music For The Movement, Vol. 3’ EP is now available, in celebration of Juneteenth. The EP is the third volume of a four-part series between The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture, and Hollywood Records. ‘Liberated’ celebrates themes of Black beauty, self-love, Afrofuturism, and Black empowerment in song. Sonically the EP is an infusion of jazz, funk, neo-soul, hip-hop and R&B, as well as spoken word, that is fresh, vibrant, experimental and genre-bending.
‘Liberated’ explores embracing Black authenticity uninhibitedly. It’s centered on Black America becoming the author of its own story and adopting an unapologetic Black pride. ‘Volume III’ shifts its focus away from the long-suffered trauma to revel in the strengths that make the Black community unique, original and extraordinarily resilient. The project is a celebration of Black art, style, beauty, creativity and success as a culture and a people.
As with the first two volumes, all the music and illustrations are created by Black artists. The cover illustrations for ‘Liberated’ were created solely by South African illustrator Karabo. Karabo is renowned for “preserving the African aesthetic” and was named to Forbes Magazine’s “Africa 30 Under 30” in 2019. The prolific Karabo has designed three sold out collections for Nike and has collaborated with Coca-Cola, Apple Music, & The Trevor Noah Foundation.
The music and spoken word pieces are equally as impressive on ‘Liberated’. Leading the charge, with their song “What’s Life”, are Cordae & Common. The soulful hip hop track finds the two MCs displaying a compelling appreciation for life, in all its beauty. Maryland resident Cordae is a critically acclaimed, multiple Grammy-nominated artist and activist. Common has won multiple Grammys, as well as a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his insightful and poignant music. In addition to being a highly respected rapper, Common is an actor, film producer, book author, poet, philanthropist, and activist.
“Running Blind” by rising singer and songwriter Lucky Daye embodies Black pride and pushes for economic empowerment, while letting go of life’s encumbrances. The New Orleans native has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, and has written music for Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, Zayn, and Ella Mai. The song is produced by D’Mile who won the Grammy and Oscar for H.E.R.’s “Fight For You” off the “Judas and The Black Messiah” soundtrack.
The EP’s spoken word track comes from actress and activist Yara Shahidi. Entitled “To Be A Black Girl”, the track explores the joys, innovations and tribulations of Black girls and women throughout history. Shahidi, the star of “Grown-ish“, has been recognized for the excellence in her work with many awards, including the NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards, and Teen Choice Awards. She is also a student at Harvard University and an outspoken voice for voters’ rights.
Singer/songwriter/actress/producer Chloe Bailey delivers a stunning cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. Chloe, a co-star of Grown-ish, is one half of the five-time-Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle. With her sister Halle Bailey, they turned the summer of 2020 into a wonderful, magical creative season of innovative performances that took the world by storm. Seemingly growing up before our eyes as women and as artists during the pandemic, the sisters were famously discovered by Beyoncé and signed to her Parkwood Entertainment label in 2015. They have toured with Beyoncé and JAY-Z, as well as singer and actress Andra Day. They recently won two 2021 NAACP Image Awards.
Rounding out the EP is legendary American Jazz Saxophonist Kamasi Washington, with his opus “Sun Kissed Child”. The track is an eight-minute jazz epic dedicated to imbuing Black children with love, confidence and endless possibilities. The Los Angeles native has performed with a cadre of renown artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg, George Duke, Chaka Khan, Raphael Saadiq, and St. Vincent. Washington has been nominated for several Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award, and has taken home multiple Libera Awards.
In other related news, GRAMMY®-nominated and acclaimed rap artist Cordae has partnered with Disney Dreamers Academy, held at Walt Disney World, and ESPN’s The Undefeated to award scholarships to youth from underrepresented communities attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Cordae is a featured artist on the ‘Liberated / Music For The Movement, Vol. 3’ EP which is available now. His song, “What’s Life”, also features GRAMMY® – and Academy Award®-winner Common, and is a celebration of what’s really important in life – family, friends, loved ones, chasing dreams, having goals, and living life to its fullest potential. Chasing dreams and having goals were imperative to Cordae and his vision, which ultimately led to his desire to want to fund scholarships.
When approached to be part of the ‘Liberated’ EP, Cordae immediately elected to donate his proceeds from the album release to fund the scholarships. Said Cordae, “So many people need the money more than I do. I feel as though when you’re in such a blessed position, it’s important to pay that forward to be a blessing to others. It’s especially important to me to invest in our youth and the future. Young people are the future of our society and the world, so we must do all we can to ensure they are properly positioned to succeed. If I can spark the brain of a few future world leaders and geniuses, I’ll die a happy man.”
When The Undefeated and Disney Dreamers Academy learned of Cordae’s intention of donating his recording fees to fund scholarships for HBCU students, they matched his donation. Disney Dreamers Academy and The Undefeated share Cordae’s passion to impact young people in realizing their dreams and providing underrepresented youth with a higher education. Cordae will appear as a special guest on today’s episode of Stephen A’s World on ESPN+, which will feature a performance of “What’s Life” in celebration of Juneteenth. Cordae will also be performing “What’s Life” and presenting an award at ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Awards.