Tag: protest music

Public Enemy Drops Timely New Video “No Sympathy From The Devil”

For those who grew up in the 1980s, Public Enemy was one of a handful of nationally-known hip-hop acts that created socially-conscious rap almost exclusively.  From “Don’t Believe The Hype” to “Fight The Power” (from Spike Lee‘s still-all-too-relevant movie about racism and police brutality Do The Right Thing) to “By The Time I Get To Arizona”, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X and the crew were on the forefront of calling out media manipulation, systemic racism and bigotry, and the widespread mistreatment of black people in America.

Public_Enemy_Man_Plans_God_LaughsNow, over 30 years after they’ve formed and three years since their last album, Public Enemy has released Man Plans God Laughs, offering much-needed and necessary protest music once again.  The video for the single “No Sympathy From The Devil” was just released today, and it packs a chilling punch.  It ties historical acts of racism with the racism of today – and so much of it looks the same (at the 1:56 mark, Sandra Bland‘s mug shot appears and has the effect of a gut punch).

The entire album, which was released a few weeks ago on July 15, can be heard on Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/album/1pmsTgxfLMkCw7C5LuSHFD

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Prince Records Ode to Baltimore After Freddie Gray Protests

Singer-songwriter Prince records ode to Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray protests.

Moved by the unrest in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of the police, Prince has recorded a song critical of the killing of young African-American men, a publicist for the artist said Thursday to CNN.

It is a tribute to the people of Baltimore and #BaltimoreUprising, but will also address political and social issues throughout the country.  Prince has done so before, most notably with 1987’s top-three single “Sign O’ The Times.”

Prince’s Paisley Park Studios has not yet announced a release date.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Born On This Day in 1933: Jazz Singer and Activist Nina Simone

ninasimoneEunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), born in Tyron, North Carolina and better known by her stage name Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone studied at the Julliard School of Music in New York and worked in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.  Among Simone’s most popular recordings were “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, “I Put A Spell On You”, “I Loves You, Porgy” “Feeling Good” and the civil rights protest song “Mississippi Goddam.”  Learn more about this amazing musician’s life and music here and watch her live performance of  “Ain’t Got No… I Got Life” below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson