Amplify black voices! Stream the vocals of the movement.
Music is an asset so deeply ingrained in the culture of Black Americans. The sounds created by the Black community in their continuous cycle of misery, triumph, endurance, celebration throughout history have given birth to countless genres of music hence why the struggle of Black Americans cannot be without their music and their voices in sound.
Music in itself is a form of expression which according to poet Victor Hugo “expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” It has been used time and again as a tool that is useful when getting your point across takes a little bit more creativity to drive home.
For the Black Lives Matter Movement which once again is set ablaze triggered by the clamor for justice for the lives of George Floyd of Minnesota and Breonna Taylor of Louisville, Ky. both of whom have been brutally murdered by the police.
Armed with hundreds of years worth of strife from being mistreated and looked down upon, treading lightly on the only land which they can call home for fear of being gunned down at any singular moment, they march on, pandemic or not, and they want to be heard.
If you’re a person of the internet, which you most likely are, given that you’ve found this article, you must’ve come across hundreds of posts and call-outs and educational materials on social media to get you up-to-speed on the movement.
But if reading is not your thing, and your mental health could only take so many police brutality footage, then why don’t you listen to their voices?
This 2020 these Black American artists have stepped up and decided to use their platform in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and they are damn good at getting their point across as well as producing some of the most heart-rending pieces of music you will ever hear.
“I Just Wanna Live” by Keedron Bryant
The 12-year-old gospel singer sings an original composition by his mother. Keedron Bryant has become a youtube sensation garnering the attention of big names like Oprah and Ellen. Bryant here in his soulful voice evokes sympathy to the listener for a young black man pleading for his simple right to “just live”.
“2020 Riots: How Many Times” by Trey Songz
In his open letter to those who aren’t participating in the movement, Trey Songz appeals, “How Many More Times” are riots gonna have to happen and “How Many More Lives” are gonna have to be lost before we start seeing the inequality against Black people.
“Lockdown” by Anderson Paak
Anderson .Paak releases another smooth-riding groove, but listen in for the lyrics and it’s all about unrest and frustration. Paak unearths his frustration on the fact that in the middle of a pandemic, they got to take up arms because what they thought was a “lockdown” was actually an “open fire” in black lives. Like Trey Songz, the groove-maker also expresses his dismay toward the people “uptown” in their cozy homes completely unaware of the struggles the people they’re looking down upon are going through.
“I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R.
Just by its title you can bet what this song is about. Released during the swell of protests for Black lives, H.E.R. reveals how the entire song was easy to write as it came from conversations on the current issue. The r&b singer highlights the plight of individual lives lost including most profoundly the life of George Floyd whose last words made an indelible mark in history and which incredibly encompasses the struggles of being Black: “I Can’t Breathe.”
“The Bigger Picture” by Lil Baby
With the rap track starting with newscasters reading statements from riot-leaders, you know you’re in for the low down and you better sit because Lil Baby is here to make you listen to him. Backed by trap bars, Lil Baby takes everyone outside the movement on a scenic tour of what it means to grow up Black in America. In the chorus, the rapper tells everyone, the picture is “bigger than black and white” and that he’s done with keeping quiet, he wants to make a mark and ends it by letting everyone know that “God is the only man” he fears.
“FTP” by YG
This straightforward hip hop track by rap superstar YG, begins by straight-up enunciating the title’s acronyms. The angry nature of the song is the perfect riot anthem, that which it has become ever since its release the first week of June 2020 with the main hook being heard from rallyists all over the nation. YG known for his fearless artistry dubs this as his follow-up to “Fuck Donald Trump,” a track he produced in 2016 that has been sampled for Beyonce’s tour and is the forerunning song for rallies against the president.
Amplify the voice of the Black Lives Matter Movement! Stream this list among other songs including classic riot anthems such as “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron as well as recent chart-toppers “This Is America” by Childish Gambino and “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar only on Spotify.
Do you have a personal favorite song for the revolution?
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