With musicians having such a large platform to spread whatever message they desire, it should not come as a surprise that the former guitar player of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave has one to share. Tom Morello has teamed up with Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, producer The Bloody Beetroots, and artist/activist Shea Diamond in order to bring a message reflecting the diversity of people unifying against racism. The new single “Stand Up” is a powerful track supporting those who have taken a stand against police brutality and systemic racism.
The song starts with Morello’s characteristic guitar riffs and immediately jumps into the powerful chorus of “Stand Up” with Reynolds. The first verse dives into the injustice Americans of different colors face when interacting with the police. Reynolds cries out “when I call the police will they just protect me cause I’m white-skinned too?” The second verse features Diamond and the persecution of being transgender in America where “everybody stares like I’m just my gender.” The song ends with a call for those who support causes in name only to “just shut up, cause your words mean nothing.”
The artists will be donating 100% of the song’s proceeds to the following organizations: NAACP, Know Your Rights Camp, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. These organizations are committed to combating all forms of racism, injustice, and police brutality. KIDinaKORNER/Interscope will also be donating towards these causes, the donation amount being equal to the artists’ record royalties derived from streams of the track for a 3-year period. Read below for each artist’s impression of the track and why they wanted to be a part of it. You can also find the lyric music video here.
“I grew up in the tiny lily-white, archly conservative town of Libertyville, Illinois. When I was a kid, someone hung a noose in my family’s garage, there was occasional N-word calling, etc, etc. On June 6 of this year, there was a Black Lives Matter rally and march in that same town that drew over 1,000 people. It seems that the times, they are a’changin’. I was so inspired that night, I reached out to Dan from Imagine Dragons. The Bloody Beetroots and I had conjured a slamming track and within 24 hours Dan had sent back a completed vocal. We got Shea Diamond, a Black transgender woman with a long history of activism, on the track and the coalition was complete.”– Tom Morello
“When Tom reached out to work together with Shea Diamond and The Bloody Beetroots on this track I immediately went up into my room and wrote/sang the chorus and verse that day. This country certainly needs fixing, and I believe it will take people from all sides and colors to fix it.”– Dan Reynolds
“I was in my third month of quarantine and I was waiting for the right opportunity to present itself to reconnect to the world when Tom called me to work on ‘Stand Up.’ It is during times of turmoil and upheaval that we musicians have the responsibility to accelerate change with a loud and strong message for a better present and future. Today we can change this planet. This is our time. This is our turn.”– The Bloody Beetroots
“When I hear people talking about being allies of the LGBTQ+ community, mainly in the Black and Trans community, it’s almost laughable. We watch them profit from our pain, making these surface-level posts of solidarity – especially in music. When I think about Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter, you don’t get to see any representations of collaborations – many would never share a post, let alone do a song together. So when I heard Dan Reynolds wanted me on his song, I nearly flipped. I wasn’t surprised, though – he’s been so intentional in sharing posts, helping to raise money within our community and more. He really puts the A in ally!!! This is a proud moment in music history, and I feel honored to be a part of such an important song during this climate… we need to know where everyone stands in the music community, as music is an essential tool that can change the hearts and minds of so many.”– Shea Diamond