All Things Music, Social Justice, and Protest

Category Fifth Listen

For this fifth and final listen, I’d like you to think about the musical lineage your song exists within. By lineage, I mean how the song connects to other songs in the history of music that cover similar issues and subject matter. Prior songs can be directly referenced, but that isn’t necessary — and I’m not talking about sampling here.

For example, consider the lineage of: Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” –> Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” –> Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” –> Green Day’s “American Idiot” –> Childish Gambino’s “This is America” –> to J.S. Ondara’s “American Dream.” Each of these songs exists as a critique of America and one or more of its policies, with a direct reference either in the lyrics or the title. They hint at a connection, even though it is not overt. But, and this is key, knowing about the prior song(s) adds a new level of understanding to the other song and so on. They construct a history of critique.

Lineages can also have songs made in reaction to other songs. For example, as we see this week, The Beatles “Help!” –> The Damned’s, “Help!” Or, as we see this week, songs by The Sex Pistols and The Class –> songs by Bikini Kill –> Riot Grrrl zines –> songs by Pussy Riot. In these examples, bands and their music lead to other bands, working against them or in concert with them.

So, for this listen, I’d like you to discuss 2 of your song’s lineages based on the subjects covered in your song. Create lineages of 3 – 5 songs and explore not just what connects them but how those connections enhance your understanding of your chosen song.

“What Do I Know?” 5th Listen

When analyzing Ed Sheeran’s song, “What Do I Know?” it became clear that there is more than one musical lineage that the song sprouts from. However, there are two main ideas that become the most apparent. Although the song is… Continue Reading →

Fifth Listen of Nina Cried Power

First Lineage The first lineage I noticed was that of honoring activists that had come before, especially in a time of needed change. Hozier takes the cake on this one, by referencing numerous artists and even basing his song off… Continue Reading →

“Love It If We Made It” Fifth Listen

This fifth listen post, with the focus on song lineages, was the post that I was the most unsure about how to approach. While what The 1975 are doing with “Love It If We Made It” is no novel idea,… Continue Reading →

Fifth Listen: Sheep

Lineage 1: Police Brutality and Racial Violence The first song lineage in “Sheep” by Mt Joy is the theme of speaking out against police brutality and the racial injustice in America, and the reflection in the judicial system. These songs… Continue Reading →

Brockhampton and the Musical Lineage of Socially Conscious Hip Hop

The topics covered and protested in Brockhampton’s “JUNKY” are not unique to the band or to the genre. Topics of homosexuality and drug addiction have been tackled through music long before the group started putting out music, but only more… Continue Reading →

“Society” Fifth Listen

From my discernment there are two predominant topics that are touched upon in Society which strongly connect it to previous and latter songs on the basis of subject matter. The first, and most immediately noticeable, is a rejection of materialism… Continue Reading →

Holiday’s Song Lineage

Lineage 1: Anti-War & Reevaluation of War One of the prominent critiques that Holiday has is that it critiques the Bush presidency for acting quickly to bomb Iraq despite its allies wanting to find a peaceful solution to disarm Iraq of… Continue Reading →

Fifth Listen Lineage “F*ck Your Ethnicity”

“Changes by Tupac >>> “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West >>> “Untitled” by Nas >>> “F*ck Your Ethnicity by Kendrick Lamar As you may know, “F*ck Your Ethnicity” by Kendrick Lamar is not the first rap song that talks about racism…. Continue Reading →

“everything i wanted” Fifth Listen

Contrary to Eilish’s abundant recognition for her conspicuous message about depression in “everything i wanted”, mental health as a subject within the music industry is no groundbreaking concept – as any other form of artistic expression, emotional and mental hardships… Continue Reading →

Fifth Listen- “No Church in the Wild”

The song “No Church in the Wild” follows a lineage of songs dealing with themes of the authenticity of religion and power structures of people in the United States, and particularly how those structures impact the lives of African Americans…. Continue Reading →

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