Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc began as a rapper in the mid-1990s and shot to international prominence in 2010 with the hit single, "I Need a Dollar". My purpose for music is positive social change," said the first-generation Panamanian American about his 2010 album Good Things. The lead single, "I Need a Dollar," is a song that has been called an anthem for our time for the way it encapsulates the economic woes being felt by individuals and countries, alike. Writing from his own and friends' personal experiences of being down-sized from their jobs in the early 2000's, and inspired by a CD of chain gang workers singing field songs, he started work on the song in 2005. He continued to create different versions as the economy worsened, and was commissioned by HBO to record it as the theme music for the 2010 series How to Make it in America, from where it went global and viral. Crediting influences as diverse as Thoreau, Emerson, Cornel West, and Oprah, Blacc crafts lyrics that are thought-provoking about poverty, homelessness, and inequality, delivering his message with a modern soul sound that references Al Green, Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye. In songs such as "Politicians," "Life So Hard," and his cover of Sam Cooke's "Change is Gonna Come," Blacc represents the new generation in a long line of soul singers speaking as the voice of the people. His Out of Doors set follows his participation in Lincoln Center Festival's presentation in July, "Here But I'm Gone," a 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield. Off-stage, Blacc is actively involved with a number of health and humanitarian causes, as he carries on determined "to use music to expose what needs exposing." (

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