On Saturday, May 19th, WE RISE LA opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles. In honor of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, this 10-day festival isn’t just a call to action, it’s a movement. Not only is the event free, but it brings the community together with art, music, food, and an all-star lineup of artists, guest speakers, spoken word poets, activists, and more.
Day 1 came in the form of a rally, which included performances by Ty Dolla $ign, Common, Las Rakas, and more. In between sets, Black Eyed Peas surprisingly popped up on stage to speak on the importance of mental health and the unfortunate voids within our society.
This aligned perfectly with their latest single, “Ring The Alarm.”
“We have this new song that came out…called ‘Ring the Alarm.’” will.i.am stated. “It touches on a lot of things happening in society. Whether you’re in and out of juvenile hall, or correctional facilities, whether you’re in and out of mental facilities, it seems as if these facilities that are designed to correct are just handing out pills and not providing opportunities for those folks.
“There’s no jobs for them to go to, or in and out of mental health and are prescribed some concoction to keep them in zombie mode,” will.i.am continued. “I know this for a fact from folks that are in my family, and the facilities are not really doing their part to help correct.”
After playing the record for the people, he continued, “It’s like an almost 6-minute song. Because why not? Why not have something lengthy? Last time I checked, I like binge-watching freaking Stranger Things and Game of Thrones. And these one-minute Snap content, beat, zombie-mode s##t, we didn’t want to be a part of that. We just want to contribute things and document the things that are hitting us in the heart, things that we care about. AND, you know, we know how to make that kind of music. Like really well. But now’s not the time for that shit.”
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