Hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane and up-and-coming singer Alissa Cavallaro have teamed up for an anti-bullying collaboration they call “Don’t Be Pushed Around” to combat bullying in all forms. The duo held a release party for their single “Journey Isn’t Over” last night (June 11) at New York City’s Bowlmor Chelsea Piers.
The single features the 15-year-old Cavallaro belting out uplifting, anti-bullying lyrics, and Kane dropping an empowering verse toward the end. His positive message includes lines like, “Gotta be another way to put a stop to this/I wanna cock a fist, but I’m like, ‘Not for this.'”
In a phone interview with XXL before the event, the Brooklyn-born rapper said that he and Cavallaro share the same publicist, which is how he first heard about her anti-bullying activist work. “When I was told what it’s about, and what she’s doing, I just thought that it was a great idea and a worthy topic, so I said, ‘Sure, I’d love to.'”
Kane said that while bullying wasn’t an obstacle for him or his three children, he understands the gravity of the issue. “I’m very familiar with the situation,” he said. “I see it all the time, so I totally understand.”
Both artists see the new single as just the start of a broader movement. Cavallaro, a Long Island native, told XXL that on top of working on her forthcoming album, she is putting together a schools tour so that she can “discuss bullying on a more personal level with my peers and other students.” She said, “They need to know what bullying is all about, that it’s something that should stop, and I want to do that through music. I’d like to be a role model for all kinds of people, because everyone could use a little more confidence than they already have.”
Kane also foresees a long trajectory for the project. “I would hope that this would be something that she could do great things with throughout the world,” he said. “I would love to see this song being played on Nickelodeon, Disney, all that good stuff, and something that could be a part of a campaign in many different types of schools.”
Cavallaro said that it’s been “really great” working with Big Daddy Kane, and that the best part of their collaboration has been receiving positive feedback from people who have seen their video. “It’s good to know that people are understanding and receiving the message well,” she said. “If I could just change one life, then that makes all the difference.”
For the iconic Kane, the highlight of the project so far has been watching his young colleague thrive. “Just seeing her achieve her dreams, seeing her do the stuff that she visualized and believes in…just to see her happy and move forward with the project, that’s rewarding enough,” he said.
Proceeds from sales of “Journey Isn’t Over” will go to suicide prevention and awareness programs. –Katie Moore