Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tornado Song Sends Hopeful Message

About a month after the April 27 tornado, citizens of Tuscaloosa are still finding ways to help uplift the community. One of these ways is through music.

Three UA alumni, Ryan Davis, Andrew Cotten and Michael Battito, wrote a song called “5:13” to send a message of hope to the people of Tuscaloosa.

According to Davis, the song’s title was inspired by the moment that the tornado first touched down in the city. Davis, who also goes by his rap alter ego Kadesh, rapped on the song and described it as alternative hip-hop.

“It’s kinda poppy,” Davis said. “There are a lot of critical lines in the song, but it’s all about transition.”

The song was made in the one of the artist’s living room and has accumulated over 1,300 views on YouTube.

The video features the three students rapping while showing shot footage of the devastation from the April 27 tornado.

Cotten, who goes by a2z, produced the song and said that he and Ryan had done a ton of work together in the past as well as played multiple shows in Tuscaloosa.

“I wanted to be able to help out in whatever capacity possible, so I approached them about the song and it just went from there,” Cotten said. “Since the tornado is so important, we wanted to highlight the opportunity for hope in situations like these. The best way I could think to do my part was a song.”

Cotten also said the group wanted the song to have a serious but uplifting tone.

“Given the levity of the situation, we didn’t want to make light of it,” he said. “We wanted to rebuild where possible, so the song is sentimental but also hopeful.”

Cotten, who moved to Atlanta with his girlfriend weeks before the storm hit, said that the hardest part is not being here to help.

“We missed it by a month,” Cotten said. “Both of our old houses got destroyed, and my girlfriend’s house was totally smushed.”

In the song, the artists said that weather has brought us together. Davis described the verses as turning something negative into something positive.

“Some people may have lost everything,” he said. “Nature has no boundaries and has torn everything around us. We just want everybody to stay positive and know that they can still achieve their goals.”

Davis also said he admires the strength of the tornado survivors.

“The community shows this incredible sense of pride, so tangibly, that hasn’t been there before,” he said.

The students said the song is for sale and will be put on iTunes soon. For now, the song can be found on

The proceeds from the song will go directly to the Tornado Relief Fund.

“Even if it doesn’t raise a lot of money, it could raise somebody’s day,” Davis said.


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