Protest Songs

Protest Songs

Music artists have been bringing their celebrity status and resources to the Black Lives Matter protests across the country. Music including concerts and song lyrics have a long history of promoted valuable messages.

John W. Miller touched on this history in an article for America Magazine that covered the early 1900s to the current day. The article was titled “We’re in the New Age of Protest Music”. It is important to note that it was published at the end of January 2020. Months before the protests of the past weeks started. It is an article perfectly written for today.

Several similar articles are being written recently with many of them including lists of relevant protest songs. One to explore comes from Radio X in London. It runs through a fairly exhaustive list of the 50 best protest songs. The list includes greats such as Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine, Imagine by John Lennon, F**k Tha Police by N.W.A., and Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley And The Wailers.

On the other hand, artists today are releasing new songs and freestyles to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to honot victims of police brutality. These artists include LL Cool J, Trey Songz, Dre, Gunna, Teejayx6, and YG. Here are two lists of these new songs from Rolling Stone and Vulture.

In addition, two songs that are a couple years old have surged up the Spotify charts recently. Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” both received accolades and acclaim at the time of their release. While neither song lost its popularity by any means, they are recapturing their prominence today.

Given the long messaging and protest history of music, there are sure to be more songs and collaborations to come. Artists will also continue to perform in support at protests gatherings themselves. And as soon as large live concerts are back, I would not be surprised to see multiple protests concerts being organized in support of Black Lives Matter.