Song Premiere: Maya Angelou, “Pow Pow”

photo by Chester Higgins, Jr.

Maya Angelou passed away in May, but it’s clear that her work and words will continue to live on through a variety of mediums. One re-imagining comes in the form of an album. Caged Bird Songs arrives November 4 via Smooch Music, and features the late writer’s poems and recorded vocal performances blended with hip-hop.

Videos by American Songwriter

“Music was such a huge part of my grandmother’s life,” said her grandson, Colin A. Johnson. “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. She was really excited about her words being presented in this way and I’m glad her fans will now be able to hear it.”

Caged Bird Songs was produced by RoccStarr and Shawn Rivera, and features several vocals specifically recorded by Angelou for the album. It’s available for preorder on Amazon.

Below you can listen to “Pow Pow,” an AS exclusive premiere from the project. When Angelou says, “I’m the best that ever done it,” it’s not merely braggadocio; she “won it.”

Caged Bird Songs Tracklist:

1. Human Family
2. Pow Pow
3. Sepia Fashion Show
4. Harlem Hopscotch
5. Pickin’ Em Up
6. On Aging
7. Ain’t That Bad
8. One More Round
9. Come And Be My Baby
10. The Thirteens
11. Africa
12. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
13. Still I Rise

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