Alphabet Rockers Release The LOVE Celebrating Gender Identity
Oakland-based hip hop crew follows their GRAMMY-nominated album with new work proclaiming freedom for all genders; 17 new songs available on August 8th
Alphabet Rockers, a GRAMMY-nominated group from Oakland, CA will release The LOVE on August 8, 2019. The first single, "Not Alone," is an anthem for allies spinning on SiriusXM Satellite Radio and other channels this summer.
The LOVE is an inter-generational hip hop album giving voice to what matters: love, belonging, and gender justice. More than 60 guest artists join Alphabet Rockers co-founders, Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd, along with voices from the Rockers' next generation: Lillian Ellis, Maya Fleming, Kali de Jesus and Tommy "T3PO" Shepherd III.
The Alphabet Rockers are known for crafting songs for young change-makers, and these new and original anthems evolved out of extensive listening sessions and community conversations. As McGaw explains, "Hundreds of kids and families trusted us with their lived experience to write these songs. These are songs of self love and justice for trans and gender non-binary kids and families, and inspiration for anyone who wants to be an ally."
Adds Shepherd, "Making this music allowed me to notice my own blind spots. Like everyone, I want to do better. When we understand there are people out there who need our advocacy, we can be culture-keepers. We can change. Alphabet Rockers music is for ALL people."
Recognizing that the album was recorded on land originally inhabited by the Ohlone people, Alphabet Rockers begin The LOVE with a series of positive statements, led Kanyon "CoyoteWoman" Sayers-Rood. Each of the following songs reflects and honors diverse identities within our society, bringing visibility to those that are often silenced.
Standouts include the big and fully realized hit single "Not Alone" (about how to be an ally and stand up for friends), "We Royal" (celebrating trans, gender non-conforming and two-spirit heroes), "Live Your Life," (a promise to make the world safe for all people), "Black Grxl Magic" (featuring several young Rockers), and "I Am Enough" (featuring the Singing Bois). Latin Grammy winner 123 Andrés and acclaimed hip hop artist SaulPaul are guests on "Until You're Free," which includes the line, "I'm not free until you're free." The anthemic "Just Be" is for all people who want to live their truth without fear, and "Someday" speaks to interrupting violence and standing up to hate. It calls on listeners to be #TheLOVE.
The LOVE was produced at Zoo Labs in Oakland, CA, in collaboration with GRAMMY-winning producer Street Symphony and several other producers and engineers. The album was created with the LGBTQI+ family organization, Our Family Coalition, with funding from the Creative Work Fund. Alphabet Rockers will perform several Bay Area shows including headlining the Art & Soul Festival this summer. In September, they will host an album release concert at Oakland Pride and will appear at the inaugural Building Bridges Family Music Festival in Portland. The Alphabet Rockers also recently launched the So Get Me podcast for families making change.