Protest Anthems Podcast

All Things Music, Social Justice, and Protest


Fourth Listen

For this listen, I’d like you to consider the social critiques your song is making, both overt and subtle, and what, if any, solutions to the problems your songs offer.

In prior listen’s I’ve asked you to focus on the Context and there will undoubtedly be some overlap here. But, rather than just stating what the social issues are, I’d like you to discuss how the artist(s) offer critique through their lyrics. Those critiques can be overt through direct discussion of the issue(s), and they can be subtle or implied through subtextual discussions. Try to illuminate both.

And think about if the artist is actually offering concrete solutions to the problems they discuss. Yes, they may offer “love” or “kindness” as a solution, but that isn’t a concrete solution—it’s more like a idealistic and, perhaps, somewhat unrealistic. Rather, are there hard, policy-like, solutions that are offered?

Quote the lyrics throughout.

“The Story of O.J.” – Lyrical Critiques

Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” critiques the current state of black wealth in America as well as blatant discrimination in the entertainment industry on all levels; which all stem from America’s past regarding racism in visuals and performance. Such as… Continue Reading →

“Zombie”-Fourth Listen

When Dolores O’Riordan heard the news about bombings in Warrington while on the United Kingdom leg of The Cranberries’ tour, she sat down and wrote “Zombie”. The provisional Irish Republican Army or IRA set off a bomb in Warrington killing… Continue Reading →

Don’t Shoot – Fourth Listen

Maggie Rawlins 4th Listen-Social Critiques The song “Don’t Shoot” by The Game which was focused around the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson Missouri, made several other hip hop artists want to hop on the track and put verses in about… Continue Reading →

Fourth Listen- Not Ready to Make Nice.

By: Alyssa Trybus Social criticism played a huge role in the Dixie Chicks’ song, “Not Ready to Make Nice.” The song itself was a response to the negative reactions lead singer, Natalie Maines, received following comments she made about the President… Continue Reading →

You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore

In my opinion, Lesley’s “solution” to the patriarchy is to  completely defy the societal norms and go against what was typical for woman socially and emotionally at the time. “You don’t own me/ Don’t try to change me in any… Continue Reading →

Fourth Listen- Guerrilla Radio

Guerrilla Radio is a song that talks about the 2000 presidential election. It makes reference to both candidates and is not as subtle about it. Rage Against the Machine is known for being upfront about their opinions about different situations…. Continue Reading →

Paranoia – Fourth Listen

“Paranoia” by Chance the Rapper is a social commentary on gun violence in Chicago, bringing attention to the lack of discussion in the media as well as how common guns are in the city. The widespread particularly affects the youth… Continue Reading →

Now – Social Critique

“Now” tackles immigration in a way that songs have done in the past. Miguel uses his lyrics to talk about issues that are currently going on in our society. In 2017 when Miguel released the song, Donald Trump was just… Continue Reading →

Fourth Listen – “Don’t Touch My Hair”

In “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange ft. Sampha, Solange is making two social critiques out of one action. Most overtly, “Don’t Touch My Hair” discusses the issues of race today, however the same action can also address feminism and… Continue Reading →

“Praying” Fourth Listen

In Kesha’s new album Rainbow the album that “Praying” is on is all about her difficult experiences and how she has grown from them. In “Praying” she discuss women’s liberation and women’s empowerment. Through this song Kesha gives subtle social… Continue Reading →

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