Roc Nation to Release Social Justice-Themed Compilation Album 'Reprise'; Jorja Smith Drops First Single

Illustration for article titled Roc Nation to Release Social Justice-Themed Compilation Album 'Reprise'; Jorja Smith Drops First Single
Photo: Nicholas Hunt (Getty Images)

The world has transformed into a more socially conscious place in recent months, and if any medium captures the moments our world lives through best, it’s music. Whether Sam Cooke was pouring out his life experiences during the Civil Rights Movement for “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1964, or Childish Gambino was showing us the straight truth, no chaser for 2018’s “This Is America,” music serves as a snapshot for the times.


Roc Nation announced that they will release a collection of songs serving as a “musical protest” titled Reprise later in the year. According to a press release obtained by The Root, Reprise “is a forthcoming initiative, comprised of multiple artists uniting to let their voices be heard.” The project aims to bring awareness to social justice issues, and a portion of the proceeds made from the album “will go to funding organizations that support victims of police brutality, hate crimes, and other violations of civil rights.”

For years, Roc Nation has worked to provide stronger justice initiatives as a label. In 2019, it was announced that Roc Nation and Jay-Z would be partnering with the NFL to form “an entertainment and social justice partnership.” They also have a philanthropy extension of their brand which focuses on “helping athletes, artists, partners and the company as a whole maximize the impact of charitable giving and activism” through programs, campaigns and more.

Grammy-nominated artist Jorja Smith will be featured on the album, however, details regarding which other musicians will be a part of the project are few and far between. Smith’s haunting new song “By Any Means” was released July 30, and features the British songbird crooning about her experiences as a young Black woman, and being aware of the truths of the world.

“Won’t stay silent for things that I love,” she coos, “‘Cause we know them na care about us.”

“The inspiration behind ‘By Any Means’ really came from going to the Black Lives Matter protest and leaving thinking, what can I do to keep this conversation going?” Smith shares. “It’s not just a post on social media, it’s life.”


Smith is no stranger to mentioning social justice issues on wax; in 2016, she released a song centered around police brutality titled “Blue Lights.”

We’re eager to see what else will be featured on Reprise in the coming months.

Join the discussion! The Root is hosting its first-ever, virtual Root Institute, presented by Target, featuring several of the leading minds in our community talking about politics, culture, health, community building and social impact. Subscribe for updates today!

Pronounced "Jay-nuh."



I thought that was Sade...that’s all.