Sounds of Support: Activism in Music
Jon Lennon liked to say all we need was love, but our modern day musical masters say we need a bit more. The reign of fake news continues, and despite how we try to cope with the constant tides of confusion and chaos, he is still active in all of the ways, but what we need. When there is need, who other but the artist to lend some examples to our country at need.
In the past month, we’ve seen artists like Loyle Carner and Vic Mensa march on to do what a president will not: champion the people, but in terms of resource and exposure, neither of them amounts to the virtue and power of the Queen/Queen-Mother of the modern industry: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
Beyoncé’s remix of Mi Gente, a song originally by J Balvin and Willy Williams featuring Beyoncé rocking some bilingual verses in support of her people. All proceeds of the song flow into hurricane relief efforts, all while simultaneously maintaining a #3 spot on Hot 100. The best part is that Beyonce and the rest of the Parkwood family have been working diligently to begin with to ensure all areas rocked by hurricane strife have at least some aide. Despite the claims of many “Twitter Economists,” Beyonce showcases that a little can be a lot, and giving has many faces whether it be monetarily or creatively.
Never to undermine the success of the others at Beyonce’s back, we’ve seen the likes of Loyle Carner championing musical space as an inclusive environment. Not to say doing the right thing deserves applause or award, but what is commendable is actions that restructure the mentality of one’s following: to hold the people whom support you accountable for their actions. (Like what Eminem did in his 2017 Hip Hop Awards verse, but in action rather than in-verse).
Princess Nokia came out following the drop of a video showcasing the necessarily violent ousting of a racist white man from a New York subway. While most took the scene as a moment of human reinforcement, it became all the more endearing once the TOMBOY artist stated it was she who flung soup first in defense of the black youth challenged on the tracks. It is so easy to say what you "woulda done" in situations of racial inflammation, but Princess Nokia proves that we are never too successful, or too zen, for outrage to become protection and nobility.
Not to even forget the vulgar and agitationary commentary of Vic Mensa in lyric and on-line, whom (aggressively) advocates the defense of any one in need of it. To most, it all began a few years ago with the release of his dynamic free single, FREE LOVE featuring the likes of Le1f, Halsey, Lil B and Malik Yusef. Now, he is one of the most inflammatory advocates for leftist, intersectional policy. Always with an opinion, always with a fact, always with a fury.
In a world that undervalues the voice of those with the platform – a platform designed to vocalize agitation to the systematic order. Activism flows from our artists, and through art, change is instigated and actualized. It’s almost as if the actualization of American hatred has inspired the ones whom inspire us all, and realized inspiration comes from action.