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T-Pain Refuses To Back Down In 'Get Up'

True to his trendsetting roots, T-Pain detours from somber ballads and emotional pleas when it comes to protest music. "Get Up," released June 12, reveals the pioneer of Auto-Tune coming out swinging and encouraging everyone else to do the same.

"This song was actually meant to come out at the end of March, but I decided to switch it out last minute," he explained in a press release. "I want people to be motivated, inspired, and to continue to Get Up and push forward."

Over a sparse club beat and hypnotic ad libs, T-Pain raps: "Long as my heart beatin' and I'm breathin' air, I'll fight for me, you decide, anytime, anywhere / And I will never back down from it, that's not comin', I just attack from the front, and don't ask questions or nothin', do you hear?"

An EDM-esque supporting track is the pulse of T-Pain's call-to-arms anthem, making "Get Up" equal parts inspiring and danceable. It's a promise of resilience in the face of oppression and state-sanctioned violence. ("Everybody gettin' knocked down / The only thing that matters is what you gon' do when you get up").

The accompanying music video features an audio snippet of Malcolm X admonishing police brutality back in 1962: "We are oppressed. We are exploited. We are denied not only civil rights, but human rights. The only way we are going to get some of this oppression and exploitation away from us is to come together against the common enemy."

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LaTesha Harris
LaTesha Harris is NPR Music's editorial assistant. A relentless jack-of-all-trades, she takes turns writing, editing and producing music coverage. Invested in the culture behind pop, hip-hop and R&B, her work highlights the intersection between identity and history. Once in a blue moon, Harris moonlights as a talking head with no filter.