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Aug 17 2017
by Saman Aamer

4 Recent Songs With Political Meanings to Awaken Your Inner Activist

By Saman Aamer - Aug 17 2017
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Social issues have been a center of music for over a century, particularly skyrocketing during the 1960s and 1970s. Some of these songs became protest anthems, such as John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Political music once again rose to popularity during and after the controversial 2016 presidential election. Suddenly political debates were no longer reserved for Thanksgiving dinners; everybody everywhere started to speak openly about personal beliefs, but often even show up in music. These songs share their artists’ political beliefs in different and in some cases, inspiring ways.

1. "Black SpiderMan" by Logic Ft. Damian Lemay Hudson

Logic's lyrics reflect his personal beliefs. He expresses the fact that we do not need to be divided into categories based on how we look, what we think or who we love through his lyrics. Some of these include: "I ain’t ashamed to be white, I ain’t ashamed to be black, I ain’t ashamed of my beautiful Mexican wife,” “I just wanna be free, not a slave to the stereotype” and “I don't wanna be black, I don’t wanna be white, I just wanna be a man today, I don't wanna be a Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, or bi, see you later, bye, not perceived by the things I believe or the color of my skin.”

2.  Surefire by John Legend

This music video shows a couple in love and the struggles that they have to face due to their different backgrounds. The point is that love is love and should not be taken away, whether from borders, social pressures or something else. 

3. "We the People" by A Tribe Called Quest

These lyrics are sarcastically written as criticism to the current political climate, which involves control over who can enter the United States. Notable lyrics from this song that are associated with politics include: “All you black folks, you must go, all you Mexicans, you must go, and all you poor folks, you must go, Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways, so all you bad folks, you must go."

4. “I Give You Power” by Arcade Fire Ft. Mavis Staples

This song highlights the fact that politicians are voted into office by citizens and can be impeached by them as well. This serves as a warning to politicians to make the right choices and listen to the people. One really notable lyrics from this song is, "I give you power, I can take it away."

Other recent political songs include "Light" by Big Sean ft. Jeremih, "Pray" by Flobots, "Land of the Free" by Joey Bada$$ and "Campaign Speech" by Eminem. Listen to these tunes during your next study break to awaken your inner activist.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Saman Aamer - Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Saman is a freshman at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the School of Arts and Sciences. Aside from writing, she has various interests from music to science to activism. Saman has been saving money since she was ten so she could follow her dream of traveling the world. Fun Facts: She has a twin sister, can speak three languages (though not all fluently), and has the largest sweet tooth possible! Follow on Instagram at saman.aamer or email for inquiries at samanaamer1@hotmail.com.

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