The Love (GRAMMY®​-​nominated)

by Alphabet Rockers

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    THE LOVE is a GRAMMY-nominated intergenerational hip hop album giving voice to what matters: love, belonging, and gender justice for all of us. Listen to what freedom sounds like - with over 60 guest artists joining Alphabet Rockers co-founders, Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd, along with voices from our next generation -- Lillian Ellis, Maya Fleming, Kali de Jesus and Tommy “T3PO” Shepherd III. Hundreds of kids and families trusted us with their lived experience to write these songs. The responsibility is on each of us to honor these truths...today. The CD includes images of all the collaborators and celebrates our diversity.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Love (GRAMMY®-nominated) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Get all 8 Alphabet Rockers releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Love (GRAMMY®-nominated), Throw Shine on Black History, My Holiday (Single), Rise Shine #Woke (GRAMMY Nominated), Yummy Yummy Fresh (Single), The Playground Zone (EP), Back to School: The Remix (Album), and Go! (Album). , and , .

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1.
In California, there are in excess of 250 languages. 250 distinct cultures and communities. Becoming familiar with these nations, these peoples is so very important. Coast Miwok Bay Miwok Karkin Chochenyo Tamyen Ramatush Awaswas Rumsen Mutsen Chalon Salinan Yokut Esselen Those are just a few of what we recognize Central Coastal California Bay Area. This album was recorded on Ohlone land with our community—YOU. You are powerful. You are brave. You're brilliant You believe me. You ask questions. You accept me. You stand up for people who don't look like you. You make new friends. You show us that we are still changing. You are legacy. There's only one you. You are the love. You are the love.
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03:02
CHORUS: We are The liberators start with T— A to Ze We are The game changers We are The ones who lead We are The curious The line erasers Brave hearted Born Royal! Here forever no finish to what we started We are In every culture everywhere ever since We are The move makers We are The won’t quit We are Your neighbors Your children Its prolly hard to read it We Royal! Believe it when you see it VERSE 1: MISS MAJOR—standing up for incarcerated sisters Didn’t really care if you called them mister, couldn’t miss them MISS MAJOR—they are mother father daughter son healer mender, but above all that Transgender Culture keeper, love seeker Lifting up all their people just like HATSHEPSUT—who was leading all of Egypt on the Regal Queen in male clothes plus a pharaoh One of the greatest wonders of yesterday today tomorrow CHORUS BRIDGE: We are royal - sing it! We are everywhere We are cis and transgender Non binary non-conforming From Stonewall Marsha P Johnson stood up for queer liberation With the same drive that SYLVIA RAY RIVERA battled discrimination Love beyond limits We are Intersex, Two-spirit, Our own thing Sylvia - Pushing the limit for equal homes, jobs and all in all good quality of life Lit up the city of lights with her fight for human rights Like- Ben Barnes Like- Ostiche and We-Wha Culture keeper like VERSE 2: LOZEN AND DAHTESTE—Two spirit heroes Sidin and ridin’ with Geronimo Unafraid of the impossible (Chiricahua Apache) Breakin molds, fierce, vision, never fold SHARICE DAVIDS - First two-spirit to get in and through US Congress (Ho-Chunk Nation - Get Your Knowledge) Dropping love into the fire Loud and prouder a fighter Culture keeper lift ‘em higher and show em who CHORUS
3.
VERSE 1: Until you’re free - I’ll be learning bout your life and rights Lookin out for what you need, Working to adjust my sight see Until you’re free - i’ll be stepping up physically Putting focus on the real pic Taking responsibility I’m not trying to live in a world that wants to remove you I’m trying to be in a place with space to include you We out here playing by rules that muffle the truth Which eventually becomes sound proof Say it loud I’m the one standing up (x2) I’ll be lifting you up (x2) I will never slow down (x2) No better time than now (x2) CHORUS: I’m not free Until you’re free And we will be Louder, stronger, together Time’s Up dream Time’s Up speak Time’s Up lead Time’s Up believe That the time is now - that we got the power Stand up side by side impossible to break us down (Repeat) BRIDGE 1 We can make a bigger voice We can make it twice as loud We can make a better choice We can we can be proud Ven conmigo y alcemos una sola voz Que se escuche en cada esquina de este mundo Tú decides, puedes elegir mejor Sentir orgullo de lo que logramos juntos (Translation in English) Join me, let's make a single voice That is heard in every corner of the world It's up to you – you can make a better choice And feel proud about what we can do together VERSE 2: Now is the time tho Yeah, but you gon need some spine tho Yea, I mean You gon need some backbone We lost love, it’s time to find it bring it back home Turn the lights on, where the lights at Your presence is a present, it’s time to fight back Stand up, stand out Do everything but stand down Have heart, play your part Do what you can now The future aint no Mystery Your choices dictate everything that you finna see You either spectate or you create You’re either at the table or be what’s on the plate BRIDGE 2 Somos más fuertes cuando nos unimos Ser solidarios es lo que elegimos No se trata de lo mío, no se trata lo tuyo Yo te apoyo, doy mi mano, lo hago con orgullo (Translation in English) We are stronger when we unite We choose solidarity It's not about what's mine or what's yours I will support you, lend my hand, and I'll do it with pride. CHORUS + Are we free If you’re not free Can we be Louder, stronger, together
4.
VERSE 1: I just gotta be myself It’s my body and it’s mine to live in I don’t want to have to toughen up or build a thicker skin Don’t fight with me about who I am Fight WITH me FOR who I am. See me now seein’ how this is real right now better fade the doubt Just believe the me I be and then you’ll see You hear me then don’t turn me down So get me listen up, So get me turn me up So get me better run yea we gotta keep up Times up/ flip it up CHORUS: Do what it takes to live your truth Be who you are—cuz we need you Body heart and mind like humans do Live your life cuz we need you CHORUS BRIDGE: Somebody protect me So I know that you get me Just ride with me Sea to shining sea You’ll see There is no normalcy—like you thought you see Feel your back against the wall That’s me I’mma be here just lean on me I got you I am you in you I believe I won’t leave CHORUS I deserve the respect love and happiness.
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VERSE 1: Let me tell you that I -- feel free in the skin that I’m in though I wonder when I -- can wake up kick back walk thru the world never thinking bout Why - you put limits on my body n’tell - me how to live my Life - Listen I’m free - - so free PRECHORUS Please don’t try to read me, place me or displace me You cannot erase me - the sky is the limit - and that’s where I’m livin’ CHORUS I -- don’t need to blend in, fit in the binary I -- got a little bit of this and a little bit of that in me I -- look-like a queen and a king I’m not going to Hide - my pride I sparkle inside and outside PRE CHORUS BRIDGE Ever since I was a little kid People try to box me in, try to make me fit Girl or boy, like that’s all there is I’m a magical being beyond all that bizz Family, history Keeping me strong Pushing them boundaries Sing a new song Been waiting for the world to finally Call me (call me) non-binary (know about me) PRECHORUS CHORUS
7.
CHORUS: Who’s here to make a real connection with me Yea we gotta link it up now Let’s talk, let’s walk Everybody belongs Inhale, exhale—everybody be strong Try to make a real connection with me Cuz we gotta link it up now Let’s talk, let’s walk Everybody belongs Inhale, exhale—everybody be strong VERSE 1: When I am sad I can write a song Chop it up with a friend bout it all day long And I know that I’m never alone Even when it’s just me I’m never alone When I am scared I can pray in every way And when I am overwhelmed I can meditate Knowin’ my pain might not go away it’s mine to feel, I can love it anyway CHORUS VERSE 2: When I feel judged—I keep my mind clear Lean on a friend—who listens and hears Lets me laugh out—and shed a loud tear Lettin' me feel—what I feel, no fear When I’m hurt—I tell someone I trust So they can hold me down—help me lift my chin up Knowin my pain—might not go away It’s mine to feel—I can love it anyway CHORUS BRIDGE: I got my feelings You got your feelings We gotta feel them So come on let’s go I got my own thing You got your own thing We gotta own them So come on let’s go Even If you’re having one of those days We can make it through stress and strain Staying ready wins the race right now Break patterns put the blinders down CHORUS Try to make a real connection with me Everybody Be strong Just be.
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HOOK (Samara Atkins) Don’t hide your shine, just let it flow Yea you got it—that black girl glow Now is the time to let them know That’s it right there—that black girl glow VERSE (Lillian Ellis and Maya Fleming) Straight and curls that’s my world Even if its short, I’m a beautiful girl That’s who I am, that’s who I’m gonna be Doing my hair with my family (Samara Atkins) Surround myself With amazing black people Can't Stop Won't Stop til we're all equal Bringing that rawness Realness, focus Staying on my grind to deliver that ---- dopeness (MADlines) Gotta thank my lucky stars ‘cause I’m so in tune like a flower in Spring all I do is bloom MAGICAL not too much bright like moon look don’t touch (RyanNicole) Gravity giving Sanity bringing you back down To earth the maternal Reflections eternal We back now The magic is real from head to toe Facts I’d let you feel (but) the fro too ill for that! CHORUS One for the magic Two for the flow Voila! There she go! One for the magic Two for the flow Voila! There they go! One for the magic Two for the flow Voila! There we go with it There we grow with it! There we glow with it Ha. We go! HOOK Black Girl Magic Activate that black girl magic VERSE (Lillian Ellis and Maya Fleming): You know people get judged for who they are But just remember -- you’re a star Yea - you got it - It’s not an illusion (MADlines) Big up yourself If you feelin kinda low Speak your truth Go ‘head and let em know (I love my reflection) I love my complexion x2 (RyanNicole) Big small skinny thick Light dark whatever it is You lit cuz you the light Don’t dim your glow Shine, shine it bright Get it girl, get it get girl From the hills, the flats the city girl It’s your world betta show em how to run it Stay True to your heart, never turn from it If you dance baby go Ailey you ballin, shoot daily Go hard cuz Your gift it go crazy You can code it, Vogue it, presidential POTUS, do it all at once just own it Imma look u eye 2 eye hold you to your greatness U can guarantee w me no fakeness Im proud already, see ya style already, all my girls (who) leading the crowd y’all ready? Wear ur crown nice (n) steady Yeah yeah you got it There’s no doubt about it CHORUS
10.
VERSE 1: You know I’m sorry I’ve been raised on a binary with a stance That says girls are delicate and soft and boys are hard with heavy hands They’d say get over it When I didn’t really understand The knowledge passed undermanned Misinformed disenganged Not well planned Wasn’t even aware I couldn’t stand it I was told to rise above it Really just cover it up meaning stay stranded Man up with the branded Wishes will be granted Just put all your pain hurt and love into this bag man Don’t worry that no one’s askin’ but assuming how you feel though You and I both know you’re really not allowed to emote Every emotion to be concealed To be continued never revealed Scratchin on broken wheels of steel The Record is warped and not real Oh man We ain’t gotta do the bro dance We above the bromance We can feel what we can when we can how we can Now we can now we knowin’ We runnin’ past cycles of history like jesse owens Being mind blowin CHORUS: I’m wearing yesterday Cuz somethings in the way Some layers have to peel So I can see what’s real I wanna know how it feels I wanna know how you feel VERSE 2: They say that boys shouldn't cry You know that's just a lie It's time to sideline them bad mind and rise To be a man is something that you'll understand in your own time Please don't rush things'll be fine To be aligned in yourself is most important Your health is your wealth life provides an assortment of challenges Find your balance and be still Lift your family and community cause this is how we build from the Bottom to top top to the bottom Can get caught in the negative cause problems we all got ‘em Still we flourish I wrote these rhymes nourished You're heart with some strength love and courage Don't be afraid you know the way they can't define you God blessed you beautiful it's time to find you You're living proof you got the truth wrapped up inside you Now it's time to let it shine through CHORUS
11.
CHORUS I know you see me - I know you see me I know you see me - I know it, know it, know it, know it You know you see me - you know you see me You know you see me - you know it, know it, know it, know it VERSE 1: I hear your words as I’m walkin by, you think you’re spittin kryptonite? But I’m not listening Not superman not superwoman - I’m super fly and super human I’m marvelous—yea You won’t get power from putting me down You won’t get a cape when you bring that bring that hate around I’m the powerful one Don’t you know I love who I am I am the ultimate me beyond the he she ultimately be free CHORUS VERSE 2: I see ya clothes - I see ya style How yah don’t conform to these judging eyes Undeniably you The way you walk in your own way Makes me wanna give you space Undeniable truth You don’t fly a jet but I see that you fly Got that lasso of truth on these on these open eyes You’re the powerful one All assumptions be gone You’re the ultimate you just do what you do and I’ll see you thru BRIDGE Yea, and when you see it- Maybe you find the space to be free too But eh so you know I see you and i love you I’m not asking what, I’m asking who I’m not stuck You’re not confused I’m still me You’re still you I know you Live it everyday And want the words to go away Except these words I know are true I believe you CHORUS
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VERSE 1 (Mahawam): Pleased to meet you Me? I’m me Who are you? Let’s take a tour of it Top of the class Clever to boot Swish when you shoot It’s a good look when you You wear what you wanna wear There’s a unique flair to your hair You’re so pretty and so debonair You’re a beautiful soul to be shared PRECHORUS: Be Be—who you wanna be who you wanna see When you walk down the street Be Be—who you wanna be who you think of And it makes you Feel free Be Be—who you wanna be And it makes you feel good When you think “That’s me!” Be Be—who you wanna be All you gotta do Really really You’ll see CHORUS Who you gotta be? Just gotta gotta be me (x3) Just gotta be, just gotta be me VERSE 2 (Billy Dean Thomas): Top of the class I got more A’s than an alphabet test Living my best proud of myself like a pat on a back Loving this black Skin that I’m in I was destined to win Support all my friends Queer liberation Put your hands up high it’s a celebration hands to the sky elevation Every days a new one win some lose sum Your a nucents I’m a new sun Making more moves Laws of newton We all equal becuz we human my people I feel like Huey Latifah That’s U N I T Why be angry When we can love Each Other friends fam and mothers daughters and our brothers it don’t matter the gender And it don’t matter the color Don't care if you blue Don't care if you pink Don't care if you green I want you to think About what you want And how you can share Your part of the world with love in the air speak your truth Till somebody hears And don’t ever think that nobody cares walk with courage lions and bears And never be scared Never be scared Show them what you bout you are the youth the future you got the power the super Be who you are be you now VERSE 3 (Mahawam): There’s no one quite like you That makes you like me It’s wearing some blue when they tell you all pink It’s having a dance when they tell you to speak It’s becoming the things that were once make believe How you show up in the world is the key And that’s way more than just what you see You’re best when your mind and your body are sync’d So be who you are and you’ll be more complete PRECHORUS CHORUS
14.
03:04
VERSE 1: As my friend There is something that I might need you to do Just because you say we need equality too Will you speak out step up and defend my truth If you do I’ll go with you Cuz as my friend You will know the truth and love just who I am You will use your voice and make them understand You don’t always see when they’re lashing out at me. I need to know that you will still believe me Standing up for me when they say those hateful things. Hold my truth. Hearts beat louder Voices rising Will you be there for me always riding Side by side, reaching out - where will you be when CHORUS: I need you Standing beside you holding you up When you--Falling apart and you can’t get up, Know that you-We’ll be alright, cuz You know that I got you- You are not alone VERSE 2: As your friend There are ways that I have changed, I won’t go back To where I was before I met you on this track I will step up speak out meet you where you’re at You know that I got your back So as your friend I will go with you, no matter where or how far Cuz I know your truth I love who you are I’ll be around even when you don’t see me. I’m not afraid to get teased even if it means Standing up for you when they say those hateful things. They’re not true. Hearts beat louder Voices rising I’ll be there for you always riding Side by side Listening out for when u say CHORUS
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03:07
CHORUS Someday Someday we will learn How to step back and create space Life’s a cycle to be changed One day I can be you can be change Today VERSE I’m looking to the future while trying to be present But if I take a real look back in generations Over and over we witness history repeat How to break the cycle I know that it starts with me I need the real truth, all the pieces of the puzzle Please don’t hide the pieces of pieces that give you trouble I’m brave and asking, because I know knowledge is power And what i do is for the love and peace for all of ours CHORUS x2 (James Baldwin, read by Malachi Garza) There are days, this is one of them... when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it. BRIDGE By all rights we should be angry The elders say anger won’t save me It’s so clear that fear breaks and separates families Fear breaks and separates families Then History repeats History repeats Look back Step back Go back Go back Way back Step back Look back Lookback Stepback Goback Goback Wayback Stepback Lookback Lookback Look back VERSE I’m looking to the future while trying to be present Searching for the stories now of all of the seeds planted Weaving bravery courage love into the fabric Are they taken - erased - silenced - I can’t understand it- If I had all the pieces and the knowledge I’d take a big step back to acknowledge The healers the prayers the lovers the callers The dreamers the migrants the freedom fighters growing taller CHORUS x2 (James Baldwin, read by Malachi Garza) In my point of view, no label, no slogan, no party, no skin color, and indeed no religion is more important than the human being. Someday.
17.

about

THE LOVE is an intergenerational hip hop album giving voice to what matters: love, belonging, and gender justice for all of us. Listen to what freedom sounds like - with over 60 guest artists joining Alphabet Rockers co-founders, Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd, along with voices from our next generation -- Lillian Ellis, Maya Fleming, Kali de Jesus and Tommy “T3PO” Shepherd III. Hundreds of kids and families trusted us with their lived experience to write these songs. The responsibility is on each of us to honor these truths...today.

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released August 8, 2019

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Alphabet Rockers Oakland, California

GRAMMY-nominated Alphabet Rockers make music that makes change.

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