Aloe Blacc has shared a video for his latest single, “Free,” which was produced in collaboration with the philanthropic community Stand Together. The organization works towards curtailing the war on drugs and reforming the criminal justice system.
“Free” was written and produced for the documentary film The First Step, which follows CNN political contributor and criminal justice reform activist Van Jones on his journey to help transform lives.
“I wanted the music video for ‘Free’ to serve as a visual reminder of hope and as a catalyst for change. That’s why I am partnering with Stand Together, which is an organization with many coalition partners that played a critical role in passing the First Step Act,” says Blacc. “Together, we will work toward curtailing the disastrous war on drugs, which rips families apart and recognize that we cannot incarcerate our way out of addiction. And we will work together to raise awareness about proven solutions that can allow people to return to their communities with dignity and make our communities safer and stronger. To learn more about our efforts please visit standtogether.org/free.”
The First Step Act provides pathways to freedom for eligible incarcerated people, and as a result, more than 22,000 people in federal prison have been released. In addition, the number of people receiving a life sentence for drug offenses has declined by more than 75%.
Blacc has been a prominent figure in reforming the criminal justice system since 2020, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Blacc began a campaign of educating people on the judicial doctrine of Qualified Immunity and has proposed legislation to end it.
“This song and video are a testament to the determination and perseverance of our system-affected mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, and those who advocate for their freedom,” he says. “Our broken criminal justice system is a stain on our culture that can only be fixed with true compassion. Citizens who have paid their debt to society deserve a second chance. Let’s set them free.”
The singer is hopeful for a nomination in the new Grammy category, Best Song for Social Change.