Aloe Blacc and Vic Mensa have both contributed to a new benefit album, Defund the Sheriff, that’s part of a campaign to shift funding from police and incarceration in Los Angeles County toward other public services.
Mensa appears on much of the album, including the opening track, “Largest Jail System on Earth,” alongside Lauren Jauregui and Richie Reseda, and “The Caging of Los Angeles,” which boasts Reseda and Fitz and the Tantrums’ Noelle Scaggs. Blacc, meanwhile, contributed two songs: “Black is Beautiful,” under his Avery Blackman moniker, and “Shine Your Light,” as Emanon, his longtime duo with producer Exile.
“Meaningful jobs, access to education, sustainable housing, mental health resources, and financial security stop crime,” Blacc said in a statement. “Decades of research prove that law enforcement do not stop or even deter crime. We need a complete revolution. Repair and restore the people!”
Other contributors to Defund the Sheriff include Madame Gandhi, 88, XXX, Rain Phoenix, Aja Monet, and Indigo Mateo. The collection was executive-produced by Reseda and Mike de la Rocha, while the organizations behind it are JusticeLA, Schools Not Prisons, Question Culture, and Reform L.A. Jails.
“JusticeLA has been at the forefront of a deeply transformative vision for Los Angeles — a vision that ends our reliance on incarceration and policing and creates the world our communities deserve,” Ivette Ale, a lead organizer at JusticeLA said in a statement. “This album is an expression of that vision set to music. Our goal is to spark the imaginations of listeners with truth and move them to take action. The music will support our upcoming campaigns to defund the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, stop the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for sheriff lawsuits, and invest those dollars in alternatives to incarceration and community-based care. It is long overdue that the county prioritizes the health and wellness of our communities over violent systems. This album joins the chorus of demands for real public safety.”
Defund the Sheriff Track List
1. “Largest Jail System on Earth” — Vic Mensa, Lauren Jauregui, and Richie Reseda
2. “Who Are You?” — Jack Davey
3. “Black is Beautiful” — Avery Blackman
4. “Here Rn” — Indigo Mateo
5. “There Is Another Way” — Aja Monet and Richie Reseda
6. “The Caging of Los Angeles” — Vic Mensa, Noelle Scaggs (Fitz and the Tantrums), and Richie Reseda
7. “Shine Your Light” — Emanon (Aloe Blacc and Exile)
8. “En Las Noches” — Ceci Bastida
9. “Most Murderous Sheriff’s Department in America” — Vic Mensa and Richie Reseda
10. “Kings in Chains” — 88
11. “Breathe With Intention” — Akeishein and Richie Reseda
12. “Gandhi Blues” (Gizzle Remix) — Madame Gandhi feat. Gizzle
13. “Beautiful Resistance” — Mystic
14. “Weak and High” — XXX feat. Rain Phoenix
15. “Crumble” — Maya Jupiter
16. “Deporting Freedom” — Vic Mensa, Joey Dosik, and Richie Reseda
17. “Lies” — On/Notice