As protests continue to spread across the country, more and more people are beginning to join the current Black Lives Matter movement. According to the New York Times, there has been a significant increase in public support of Black Lives Matter in the past two weeks.
It’s been decades since a movement of this magnitude has occurred, bringing together people of different races, genders and ages. Among the masses, many music artists have voiced their own opinions on the matter through their music. These songs serve as a leading voice in the movement. They educate on years of racism and oppression, uplifting the voices of the Black community.
Meek Mill - Otherside of America
"Otherside Of America” addresses racism and police brutality against the Black community. Rapper and songwriter Meek Mill dropped "Otherside Of America” on June 5th, following the murder of George Floyd. In addition to being one of Philadelphia's hometown heroes, Meek Mill is known widely as an activist, specifically towards criminal justice. In 2019, he funded the REFORM alliance alongside other artists like JAY-Z, Van Jones, etc. During a CNN interview in 2018, he said, “I grew up in America in a ruthless neighborhood, where we were not protected by the police.”
Tee Grizzley, Queen Naija and the members of the Detroit Youth Choir - Mr. Officer
“Mr. Officer” is a heart-wrenching collaboration between Tee Grizzley, Queen Naija and the Detroit Youth Choir. In a recent statement, Tee Grizzley spoke out, “I’m not a politician or activist but right now it’s everybody’s job to speak up because the pain, the struggle for equality and the brutality is real.” In addition to the song’s release, he donated $10,000 to two youth programs based in Detroit, Victory Management Homes and the Horatio Williams Foundation.
Trey Songz - 2020 Riots: How Many Times
Trey Songz just released his new track, “How Many Times,” which talks about institutionalized racism and police violence. He talked about his song in a statement, “Three or four nights ago I woke up in the middle of my sleep…I couldn’t sleep. My chest was hurting. I got up and called my producer, Troy Taylor and I said ‘We’ve got to make music that really touches the soul, that really addresses what the world is feeling right now. Especially our people.’ So we came up with ‘2020 Riots: How Many Times.’ With the words in this song I just wanted to speak to everyone’s hearts and acknowledge the pain and anguish everyone is going through right now.” A portion of the proceeds is going towards the Black Lives Matter movement and the Community Justice Exchange’s National Bail Fund Network.
Teejayx6 - Black Lives Matter
Detroit's Teejayx6 just released a new song titled “Black Lives Matter,” produced by TM88. Trigger warning, Teejayx6 compiles footage from many viral moments of police killing Black people. In “Black Lives Matter,” Teejayx6 uses the song to express the fact that throughout all inhumane moments that fall upon Black people, all we have is the phrase "Black Lives Matter."
YG - FTP
YG is not new to expressing his distaste for the police or Donald Trump. In “FTP,” YG condemns systemic racism in his anti-police anthem. The LA rapper took the song to the streets, organizing a protest in collaboration with Black Lives Matter. Many are criticizing the fact that YG took the moment to also shoot a music video for his most recent record, but YG was very vocal about the matter on social media. On Monday morning, he posted to Instagram saying, “For anyone out there talking I don’t question your advocacy and don’t think you should question mine.” He continues, “The real story here is me and Black Lives Matter brought out 50,000 people today to peacefully protest and unite for change. I wanted to document that so when they hear this song and think we are reckless and violent they see a peaceful protest of all different people coming together for a common cause. That is history. That is breaking down these stereotypes on our people and our neighborhoods.”
Lil Bean - Hurtin’
SF's Lil Bean just released his new heartfelt song, “Hurtin.” The song starts with a snippet of a police officer talking to dispatch regarding "the subject being down." He raps about his personal feelings towards being a black man in 2020, over soft piano chords produced by longtime collaborator Remedy. The SF rapper vehemently raps “Right now we gotta take a stand, but don't nobody got a plan. We gotta make 'em understand."
DUCKWRTH - FIND A WAY ft. Alex Mali & Radio Ahlee
DUCKWRTH'S first release since his last EP, “THE FALLING MAN,” “Find A Way” is an uplifting record about overcoming one’s struggles. It is meant to be a source of strength and hope, despite the chaos going on in our world right now. Throughout the song, the lyrics look back on the past and then find a way to move forward. In a statement released alongside the track, DUCKWRTH said, “In this journey, we call life, us as humans will inevitably fall off the path. Sometimes due to forces outside of our control. But we always find our way. This is the theme song to our comeback. Let’s Find A Way.”