Rise Shine #Woke by Alphabet Rockers
Rise Shine #Woke is a contemporary, urban-based music CD that mixes beats with sung, spoken and rapped interludes. Singing/songwriting team of Kaitlin McGraw and Tommy Shepherd Jr. (aka Emcee Soulati) draw on passages about solidarity, cultural pride and political awareness from sources as diverse as Maya Angelou, Joan Baez and President Barrack Obama. Songs such as “Turn On The Lights,” “Rise,” “Shine,” and “Stand Up For You,” are powerful statements about social justice, political awareness and change. “On The Corner” is a kid-rapped song that addresses racism, and segues into the Stevie Wonder influenced song of self-confidence “What are You?” Elsewhere, “Walls” addresses the real meaning of being an American, and celebrates cultural diversity, while the “Different” interlude has children defining the term “ally,” and “Sway” promotes empathy and respect.
Whether or not your family’s playlist regularly includes hip-hop, Alphabet Rockers’ multi-layered Rise Shine #Woke album frames the issues in a sense of fairness and justice, about which, even very young children have a well-defined sense. It’s a CD worth repeated listening.
Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.