Blogs by August 16, 2017 - 10:29 AM
Though generally a means of self-expression, songs are also a powerful medium for influencing social change. Resistance-motivated songs are nothing new and span several decades and genres. In this politically charged time, artists are using their voices to address the racism, violence, negligence and disillusionment that exists all over the world. Icons like Prince released songs in response to various instances of police brutality, and smaller artists like Rhiannon Giddens and OneRepublic have added their voices to the growing and global movement for justice and protecting the environment.
Here are our Top 7 songs (in no particular order) to inspire you to create change this #SummerOfResistance!
1. Don’t Go Near the Water – The Beach Boys
Putting an ecological spin on their traditional surf-based songs, The Beach Boys advise listeners to avoid surfing and other beach activities in the water for environmental precautions.
2. Truth To Power – OneRepublic
In what is the title song to Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, OneRepublic uses the metaphor of earth as a jilted lover talking directly to listeners, its inhabitants.
3. Stand Up/Stand N Rock – Taboo
Taboo (and others) encourage listeners to support the Sioux Tribe’s peaceful and powerful movement to block the water-endangering Dakota Access Pipeline underway at the Standing Rock Reservation.
4. How Many (Black Lives) – Miguel
Miguel is not subtle as he takes on a more urgent tone on his Black Lives Matter-dedicated song, and wonders "how many" people must die before law enforcement institutes change.
5. Glory – Common, John Legend
Common and John Legend connect moments like Rosa Parks refusing to sit on the back of the bus to the protests in Ferguson in the song written for Selma, a film chronicling the Civil Rights era, reminding listeners that racial tumult is still relevant in the face of modern-day.
6. Cry No More – Rhiannon Giddens
Dry drums, a hushed gospel choir and Rhiannon Giddens' voice echoing from the pulpit sets an appropriately solemn spirit in the wake of the racially-driven Charleston church massacre.
7. Baltimore – Prince ft. Eryn Allen Kane
Affected by the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the late icon Prince pays tribute to the city while also reflecting on America's nationwide violence related to race.