The song is inspired by the ongoing protests across the world in the fight for racial equality and the end of police brutality.
Morello started writing the political protest song after seeing over 1,000 people march in his hometown of Libertyville, Illinois. He has previously opened up about experiencing racism as a kid in that same town and was inspired seeing people protest many years later.
“I was so inspired that night, I reached out to Dan from Imagine Dragons. The Bloody Beetroots and I had conjured a slamming track and within 24 hours Dan had sent back a completed vocal. We got Shea Diamond, a Black transgender woman with a long history of activism, on the track and the coalition was complete,” he wrote on social media.
In the track, Reynolds and Diamond reference racial inequalities throughout the lyrics.
“When I call the police, will they just kill me?/ Will they just kill you?” Reynolds sings. “When I call the police, will they just protect me ’cause I’m white-skinned too?”
While Diamond sings: “Everybody stares like I'm just my gender/ But I'm a living soul with my own agenda/ Tell me how you are the priest and the prosecution/ Tell me how you have a God who loves executions.”
Morello wrote that all artist proceeds from “Stand Up” will be donated to the NAACP, Know Your Rights Camp, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
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