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Political Songs to Add to Your Playlist

Formation by Beyonce

The day before she was set to perform the half time at the Super Bowl, Queen Bey released the music video for her new song. With clips of Beyonce on a New Orleans' police car in flooded water, images paying homage to her creole ancestors, and graffiti that says “stop shooting us”, Beyonce is making a political statement geared towards a black and allied audience with proud pro-black lyrics like “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils”. If you haven’t watched the music video or listened to the song yet, I strongly recommend you do.

White Privilege Macklemore

With an almost nine minute song, Macklemore tackles a lot subjects such as “Black Lives Matter”, being white in the music industry, and more specifically the appropriation of black culture in the music industry by artists like Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus. Macklemore has often talked about how being white has helped him become really successful and doesn’t discourage white people from rapping or listening but encourages more people to learn where rap has come from and to ask people “am I taking from the culture or giving back to it”. He also suggests for white people to have those difficult conversations about race.

Deceptacon by Le Tigre

Not a very universal song but Kathleen Hanna, who wrote the song, wrote it as a response to a man who critiqued her songwriting ability. Hanna has had a history with writing political songs as she was the lead singer of “Bikini Kill” who started the riot grrrl genre of music which was very popular in the early 90’s and the genre was underground feminist version of punk. With a culture revealing around feminism it created an outlet for women to talk about feminist issues in the form of song. 

This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

If you’ve ever been to a meeting for singing you will know this song, because Quaker John will always play it on the guitar for us. It doesn’t make a huge political statement but it does strike a chord when bringing up a good point. That this country is supposed to be for everybody, and nobody should be better than anyone else, because we’re all equal.

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