From the artist: “We’re suffocating as a people. Every day, there’s a fear of being shot or killed or accused of something that we didn’t do. Freedom is not living in fear, and Black people have to live with that fear.” “I don’t understand how people don’t recognize what privilege is, and how we, as
Since rocketing to fame, Lizzo has often been praised for championing body positivity by upending dominant ideals of health and beauty, which prioritize slim, white bodies. But Lizzo herself is unimpressed. “I’m sick of being an activist because I’m fat and Black. I want to be an activity because I’m intelligent, because I care about
JusPaul ride along thru Barry Farms. Pax City will often feature music that offers insight into the lives of others. One of our fundamental goals at this platform is to bridge gaps between communities, getting honest perspectives on life from a range of artists greatly assists that effort.
In a situation eerily similar to the Kashief Browder story, Sandra Bland, 28, committed suicide in her jail cell following a wrongful detainment. A reminder that the injustices we see occurring throughout society as it relates to policing and criminal justice are far reaching and vast. From the artist, Dev Hynes: “I had a somewhat
From the artist: “The massacre at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June is just the latest in a string of racially charged events that have broken my heart. There are a lot of things to fix in this world, but history says if we don’t address this canker, centuries in the
“Glory” is the Oscar Award winning song from the Movie Selma, a film from Ava DuVernay chronicling the 1965 voting right marches from Selma to Montgomery. Despite it’s historical origins, the gospel-infused song is unfortunately just as relevant today.
Vic Mensa hits heavy with this dark pop track about children being told they were going to a better place only to be separated from there parents and placed in cages. It plays like a feature track from a movie about a dystopian future-verse where this happens actually happens. Sad overall, and I think he
The Killers along with director Spike Lee take a look at the definition of not only what it means to be an American, but what do we really mean when we describe ourselves as the “Land of the Free” when faced with the current political realities.
Jessie Reyez gets to the heart of the shifting laws around U.S. asylum system and it’s affect of family, life, and love. Smooth and insightful, Jessie asks us to face the personal toll our politics can take on all individuals.
Hurray For The Riff Raff give us this piano driven track showcasing life for Puerto Ricans in New York as well as the hurricane ravaged island in the aftermath of Maria. An inspiring tune about struggle, resilience, and marching forward.
Jorja Smith had such belief in this anti-policy brutality track that her team rereleased the tune on Smith’s 2018 debut album Lost & Found.
Mavis Staples presents a very soulful track referencing the removal of Confederate statues and what they possibly should be replaced with.
This haunting dance tune portrays a heaven featuring a sexually abusive St. Peter. Although primarily tied to the abuses committed by the Catholic Church, this song makes a statement about the abuses of many who are in positions of power.
From Pink’s seventh album, Beautiful Trauma, this lead single paints a very bleak picture of what she sees as a broken America. The lyrics are vague enough to apply to any sort of injustice, but Pink tips her hand by introducing visuals of the Republican National Convention at the top of the video. We see
Micro-agressions are laced throughout the beginning of the song as a cleverly produced baseline and beat take hold. Oh and if you want to learn about her culture you need to pay her.
The latino soul group challenges the idea that freedom isn’t free, a concept and ideology that’s been at the center of America’s hyper-militarization and foreign policy for years.
Jack Harlow on Lil Nas X: “I think he’s giving a voice to a lot of people and kids who could use one. I think the community he represents could use someone who’s succeeding on a mainstream level — it doesn’t have to be a niche thing, it can feel like, Yo, you can be number
From the artist: “There are so many songs where people, they got a good message, they’re saying things that needs to be said, but they abandoned the song. Some people are willing to do that, but the balance is very important to me. So I wanted to go back and make sure the lyrics were
Dreamville artist J.I.D provides his third track of 2021 with ‘Skegee’. J.I.D talks about Tuskagee, Alabama – the city and it’s historically black university. J.I.D provides us with a history lesson within the lyrics with his calm and collected flow and references the infamous Tuskagee experiment. The Tuskagee experiment refers to the untreated Syphilis and
Chicago natives Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper unite with Wyclef Jean, taking on the social and criminal justice system in this sentimental piece. Wyclef Jean provides a soulful and powerful chorus, along with Chance pouring out his message and feelings also. Vic Mensa starts and ends ‘Shelter’ with strong messages about society’s current events
Trae Tha Truth and Mysonne gather a range of versatile artists to express recent and on-going Black Live Matter events.‘Time For Change’ shows a range of flow while sharing an important message in the meantime. This 9 minute music video includes relevant and talented animated messages that we’ve come across during the social justice movement.
“Handlebars” is about the sheer power of human potential “to be destructive or to be creative”, according to Flobots frontman Jonny 5. Though the song emphasizes the danger of abusing that power, it can also be viewed as a call to put human ingenuity to more productive, positive use.
Not long after YG’s feud with Tekashi 6ix9ine – ignited by reports that the latter turned informant for a reduced sentence and has become a notable Donald Trump supporter – the California-born rapper touches on his own experiences within the criminal justice system after his arrest for suspicion of robbery prior to the 2019 Grammy
From the artist: “All we know is Trump has gotta go…We shot this video in secret in the dead of the night. PEace Chuck D and Flavor Flav”
The living legend drops this single from his new album King’s Disease. A flawlessly constructed homage to all things black. Enjoy.
Lil Baby contributes to the beautifully introspective hip-hop tracks coming forth since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Over three verses Baby spits at a lightning pace touching on the personal and the societal, projecting hope and fear, love and hate, clarity and confusion. It’s a master class and certainly will be one of
From the artist: “I wrote “I Can’t Breathe” ft MacGuyver five years ago after the tragic deaths of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin and so many other unarmed Black men, women and children. Five years later, this song is still relevant. It’s a song I never wanted to write, a song I wish I
Terrace Martin’s incredibly diverse background includes work with Kendrick, Snoop, Herbie Hancock and others helps him bring in a strong cast on this new track which features Denzel Curry and saxophonist Kamasi Washington. It’s a bleak picture, but as the message on the screen says: “The video to this song is happening right outside your
“Black Lives Matter,” a new track by the young Detroit rapper Teejayx6 was written in the days following the killing of George Floyd. While he no doubt intends on supporting the Black Lives Matter movement he also can’t ignore the inescapable fact that for him, slogans fall short: “Another black man just died on camera/But
Atlanta’s own Daye Jack and Killer Mike linked on this track to reflect on the history of protests in response to police brutality aimed at African-American communities. From the video’s director David Gallardo: “The montage served as a way to show that despite the tragic subject matter, it brought people together from all walks of
From the artist: “I was told there was once a world where slaves communicated with each other via music, and tho I wasn’t present for that, the HipHop I fell in love with always encouraged me to do the same (Thank you Public Enemy)…. Let this act as an unfortunate reminder that times change and
Dutch electronic artist AREA21 hit us with a hip-hop track from the perspective of extraterrestrials hovering around our planet and recording what they see. Maejor details some of the wrongdoings he sees happening on our planet, along with the hope that change can come. Martin Garrix accompanies these messages with spacey trap, bass and hip-hop
From the artist: “”Stadium Pow Wow” is A Tribe Called Red’s first summer single of 2016. The energetic anthem continues to showcase Tribe’s unique style of music to the world. Featuring Black Bear, “Stadium Pow Wow” is ready to take on the world.”
From the artist: “Another fast moving Body Count track continuing my attempt to wake people up.”
From the artist: “Shameika is real. When I first wrote the song, I was not entirely convinced she existed. Because I have this one memory and it’s a very big memory for me. But maybe I created this person. My third-grade teacher, Linda Kunhardt, was my favorite teacher. I’ve kept in touch with her over
“What is demagoguery, and where does it come from?” This is the question Colin Meloy of The Decemberists sought to explore in the single “Severed”. The lyrics keep this exploration fairly abstract, with the speaker spewing manipulative, incendiary rhetoric and descriptions that are common to all demagogues but exclusive to none. The video, on the
The Chicks’ brooding anthem “March March” is at once sweeping and specific in its call for social reform. Released during the swell of protests in the summer of 2020 sparked by the murder of George Floyd, the video puts the ongoing struggle for racial justice front and center by showing the names of hundreds of
In 2017 Sufjan Stevens wrote “Christ would be ashamed of us all,” . He was referring to the refugee crisis, days after the inauguration of Donald Trump. “The truest of ‘Americans,’” he said, “have either been destroyed by the white immigrant, incarcerated, isolated, held captive, or stolen and enslaved.” Even then, critics would speak of
Indie folk band Bon Iver’s “AUATC” immeidately brings memories of the hit 90’s song, “Shed a Little Light”, by James Taylor. The band put out a statement with this song that calls for people to support charities globally, locally, and nationwide. Read statement from band here.
The late icon found himself deeply troubled by the death of Freddie Gray. In response Prince wrote a tribute to the city that reflected on the disturbances seen across the nation in the last few years. From the artist: “The system is broken, it’s going to take the young people to fix it this time.
Grandson has made no secrets about his source of inspiration for this Rage Against the Machine cover….Tom Morello. A statement from Grandson: “The intention was to juxtapose a story of Mexican migration/indentured servitude with Delta Deep South American blues as a commentary on slave labor and the perversion of the American Dream. What’s more American
This visually stunning Sean Evans video is a futuristic take on the story of labor activist Joe Hill who was killed by a firing squad in 1915. A statement from Tom Morello: “Revolutionary labour troubadour Joe Hill was murdered by a Utah firing squad for a crime he did not commit. They pinned a heart
Gary Clark Jr. experienced a lot of racism growing up in the American south and ‘This Land’ is a testimony to some of those incidents and emotions. To the Rolling Stone Gary Clark Jr. described his youth as “getting dog shit in the mailbox, people writing ‘nigger’ on my fence outside my parent’s house, riding
Riot grill pioneers Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) and Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile) lend their vocals to a parody of the 1980’s film 9-5 starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton. The film is a very well suited metaphor of pay inequality and a fun way to make a serious statement.
On December 28th, 2016 there was an incident of police brutality that took place in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. “Children” was written in response to this incident and showcases the response of youth communities to these incidents.
IDLES expertly use archival footage over this punk track to examine the theme of masculinity and some of the damaging ideologies that have been passed down thru the generations. This track also throws a spotlight on the hurtful consequences to both men and women from boys becoming enslaved to the ever-present concept of being a
Mudhoney’s sardonic humor is on full display here in this brutal indictment of the dark underbelly of social media and the lengths people will go to in search for ‘likes’.
War on Women tells the story of enslaved black women Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey who were experimented on by James Marion Sims. He is widely viewed as the founding father of modern gynecology. The video incorporates images related to Sims and the three women he violated. The statue honoring Sims was removed around the time
From the artist: “For centuries, Ukrainians have been brainwashed with foreign ideas*, forced to act in foreign interests and fight someone else’s wars. Now we have to, finally, take responsibility for our actions and take charge.”
Patria y Vida is a track that contemplates and manifests Cuba’s liberation in the near future. Its message is directed to Cuba’s communist regime without fear or a softening of their words. From the artist: “This song says: Your time is up. … I was born in this century, and we’re done with your lies
With an urging beat and evocative animation, “The Wolf” brings addiction to raging life. The disease is personified both in the lyrics and the visuals, where it takes the form of a monstrous, relentless wolf on the hunt. But it isn’t all hopeless – the video subtly suggests that mutual support and cooperation with other
At the heart of Gotye’s “Eyes Wide Open” is love for his family’s “lost natural haven” in Victoria and a “subconscious fear of losing a place like that”. With eerie stop-motion and a bass line played on the Winton Musical Fence, “Eyes Wide Open” envisions a bleak, post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate disaster, war, unchecked
With “Michael X” reggaeton artist Myke Towers illustrates that the issue of race isn’t confined to the continental US. The Puerto Rico native recently expressed to grammy.com he felt compelled to take a stand on the issue “as a Latin artist who has been heavily influenced by Black culture.” Full translation: [Intro] We are oppressed,
The injustice and repression that marred Angola in his past became inspiration for this Manchester-based dark-electro artist. During the 1992 Angolan election, Nazar’s older sisters were forced to take shelter with foreign journalists to escape the tumult on the streets. The visuals from the video look like a dystopian Salvador Dali painting, which along with
The Zambian singer-songwriter and rapper describes “OMG” and her artistry to Pitchfork in the best way possible: “I personally believe that people who live on the continent have a duty towards their family in the diaspora: re-teach them our culture, our language, our spirituality, our ways, and give us back to our people. For me
Vancouver-based Native North American rap duo (“Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce) hail from the Haisla Nation and return with Bolsen with a call to action. A statement from Snotty Nose Rez Kids: “‘Creator Made an Animal’ is our way of paying homage to the place that we call home as our spirits
Putin’s archenemies are back with MARA 37 with an eerie tune about a dystopian world created by unchecked abuses against our environment. In a lead up to the release of the video, the group made a series of guerrilla campaigns according to their website. In an open letter to Putin and his “cronies” from Nadya Tolokonnikova:
“Supa-cala fascist, racist, espi-ala-tazors.” People focused on her mention of Rihanna and Madonna in this track, but a single listen and you’ll know precisely who she’s taking aim at with this political lyricism.
Ziggy conjures up his father’s spirit with this undeniably positive tune about a world revolution based on peace and brotherly (and sisterly) love.
The Jamaican native changes up the visuals with this artistic lyric video about the brutal reality of the endless cycle of violence between the police and shottas.
“Unruly”, the visually clever offering shot entirely on VHS from East London grime legends D Double E and Footsie, takes us on a banging ride thru London’s gritty Bow district, a famous area that has birthed some genre’s greatest artists. The Bow District is to London and Grime what the Bronx was to the US
M.I.A. has a long history of speaking about the trails and tribulations of refugees and does so from her own experience as a refugee fleeing the war-torn Sri Lanka and emigrating to London when she was 10. This video features real people and refugees from camps in the south of India where Sri Lankan Tamils
Like many of the songs on Helado Negro’s Private Energy, “It’s My Brown Skin” touches on both the political and the personal in a clever lyrical ode and celebration of brownness.
Written by the lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons, “Drone Bomb Me” seductively implicates the listener as she traces drone warfare directly to the body by turning the abstract nature of this futuristic warfare into something disturbingly intimate.