AEW Announces “Who We Are: A Celebration of Excellence, Vol. 1”
-- AEW’s Comprehensive Compilation Project will tell the Life Stories of its Black Wrestlers Through the Voices of Renowned Artists --
Feb. 1, 2022 – To commemorate the beginning of Black History Month, AEW revealed the upcoming release of Who We Are: A Celebration of Excellence, Vol. 1, a compilation album that will bring to life the stories of more than twenty Black AEW wrestlers through the music of established hip-hop and R&B artists. Executive produced by AEW’s in-house producer Mikey Rukus, the promotion’s first-ever full-length compilation LP will feature an introduction from legendary funk musician Bootsy Collins, with proceeds from CD sales benefiting the Bootsy Collins Foundation.
Who We Are: A Celebration of Excellence, Vol. 1 will be released on Friday, Feb. 18, initially available exclusively in hard copy format with pre-orders now open on ShopAEW.com. Featuring 21 tracks, the album includes contributions from artists such as Jon Connor, Mega Ran, Brinson, Omega Sparx, Monteasy, Josiah Williams, AEW’s own Max Caster and Sonny Kiss, and many more. In developing this project, Rukus utilized his previous experience working hand-in-hand with AEW’s roster to curate their entrance music, pairing wrestlers with producers and artists to tell their stories in a unique, collaborative format.
“One key aspect of my role in AEW is to deliver a multifaceted audio experience for fans that delves into the essence of the characters they see on screen every week, as well as the stories behind the individuals who bring these characters to life,” said Mikey Rukus, Music Producer at AEW. “Who We Are is like a bunch of ’30 for 30’ episodes for AEW’s Black wrestlers. Releasing this project during Black History Month in a format that is authentic to the culture and resonates in a familiar manner, while allowing these incredible talents to share their personal journeys, is special for everyone involved.”
Who We Are: A Celebration of Excellence, Vol. 1 will be released on streaming platforms in the near future, and its initial exclusive hard copy launch will directly benefit the Bootsy Collins Foundation, which Rukus and AEW’s Community Outreach Team identified as a viable partner during development of the album. The Bootsy Collins Foundation works to inspire, educate, and enrich the lives of individuals from all backgrounds through music.
“Bootsy helped define early on what it meant to be a Black entertainer in America,” said Patti Collins, Bootsy’s wife and President of the Bootsy Collins Foundation. “Bootsy’s involvement in this project is a perfect convergence of the past, present and future, and we are grateful to have the chance to continue inspiring future musicians as the album’s beneficiary.”
The tracklist for Who We Are: A Celebration of Excellence, Vol. 1 includes:
Intro f. Bootsy Collins
In The Mix (Red Velvet Story) f. Will Washington, Wrestle and Flow, Cutright, E.Quipped
Taiga Styling (Lee Moriarty Story) f. True God, Shokus Apollo
Shine (Nyla Rose Story) f. Richa Latta, Monteasy, Jon Connor, Bliz
Whatcha Lookin’ At (Sonny Kiss Story) f. Sonny Kiss, Brinson
Victory (Jay Lethal Story) f. Alexv, Omega Sparx, Swats, Kit Walters
Knockout (Jade Cargill Story) f. Rich Latta, Monteasy, Anthiny King, Righteous Reg
No Socks (Ricky Starks Story) f. Applejaxx, Brinson, E.Quipped
I’m The Captain (Shawn Dean Story) f. Cutright, E.Quipped, Isaac Mather
Mixed Messages (Max Caster Story) f. Max Caster
BGM (Brandi Rhodes Story) f. Mega Ran, Touré Masters, FrivolousShara, Lost Perception
The Bootsy Collins Foundation f. Patti Collins
Underneath Me (Anthony Bowens Story) f. Zane Oliver, Quinn O’Donnell
Fish N’ Chips (Anthony Ogogo Story) f. Mega Ran, Tru God, Bliz, Tizzy
Ready to Go (Private Party Story) f. Staylo Dom
Legend (Mark Henry Story) f. Rich Latta, Monteasy, Wrestle and Flow
Who’s the Coldest (Top Flight Story) f. Brinson
Powerhouse (Will Hobbs Story) f. Will Washington, Righteous Reg, Gram
Dats On Period (Kiera Hogan Story) f. Tamira Slade, Tizzy, Bliz
Fully Loaded (Lee Johnson Story) f. R8ed R
Up in the Clouds (Scorpio Sky Story) f. Omega Sparx, Swats, Teek Hall, Doe the Paperboy, Mega Ran, K-Drama
Founded by CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan, AEW is a new professional wrestling league headlined by Hangman Page, Dr. Britt Baker, Cody & Brandi Rhodes, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Adam Cole, Sting, Jon Moxley, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Jade Cargill, Sammy Guevara, Miro, Lucha Bros., PAC, MJF, Darby Allin, Nyla Rose, Red Velvet, Ruby Soho, Hikaru Shida, Thunder Rosa, Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo, Christian Cage, Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, Orange Cassidy, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Eddie Kingston, Lance Archer, and many more. For the first time in many years, AEW is offering an alternative to mainstream wrestling, with a roster of world-class talent that is injecting new spirit, freshness and energy into the industry.
“AEW: Dynamite” airs every Wednesday from 8-10 p.m. ET on TBS and attracts the youngest wrestling audience on television. The fight-forward show “AEW: Rampage” airs every Friday from 10-11 p.m. ET on TNT. AEW’s multi-platform content also includes “AEW Dark” and “AEW Dark: Elevation,” two weekly professional wrestling YouTube series, “Being the Elite,” a weekly behind-the-scenes YouTube series, and “AEW Unrestricted,” a weekly podcast series. For more info, check out Twitter.com/AEW; Instagram.com/AllEliteWrestling; YouTube.com/AEW; Facebook.com/AllEliteWrestling
About the Bootsy Collins Foundation
Say It Loud an instrument for every child! BCF will create opportunities to play whatever instrument you choose to play from piano, oboe, banjo, guitar, turntables, it's their choice but it is up to us to help provide them with the tools to help minimize the obstacles that they will face in this unforgiving life we all have to endure at this time. This program is designed for the preservation and education of past, present and future to keep the youth motivated and educated on music and how they too can become major players in this ongoing music arena. While building a circle of trust, people will learn the secrets of keeping music alive while re-introducing themselves and their music to future generations to come.