All Things Music, Social Justice, and Protest

Category 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 link to news stories or other documents that highlight the importance of the issues being discussed. Find sources you have yet to use.

Further, I’d like you to think about about how the genre the artist has chosen enables or detracts from the critique being made. And if you see a connection to their vocal delivery.

Finally, 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.

“What Do I Know?” 4th Listen

In Ed Sheeran’s song “What Do I Know?” there are multiple social issues that he is critiquing throughout the song. It does not seem like he is focusing on one specific issue, rather he is critiquing the overall status of… Continue Reading →

“Love It If We Made It” Fourth Listen

A major part of what qualifies “Love It If We Made It” a protest song is the content of its lyrics. As I have mentioned in some of my previous “Listen” posts, this song is unique in it’s approach, as… Continue Reading →

Listening Post 4 “F*ck Your Ethnicity”

“Fuck Your Ethnicity” by Kendrick Lamar critiques racism and the lack of diversity in the United States. To Kendrick, ethnicity doesn’t matter and he looks past that at your personality and wants everyone to come together when times get tough…. Continue Reading →

Holiday: A Deeper Listen

The song “Holiday” by Green Day is a critiquing the Bush administration on how they portrayed their entry into Iraq in 2003. The song also critiques the disagreement of how to disarm Iraq, as many of Bush’s allies wanted the… Continue Reading →

Nina Cried Power Fourth Listen

In Nina Cried Power, Hozier calls out the names of several influential people in the realm of protest music. By doing this, paired with some lyrics that comment on the state of society both during the civil rights era and… Continue Reading →

“everything i wanted” Fourth Listen

“everything i wanted” offers a unique perspective on mental health as a social epidemic in society as we know it. It’s no secret that music is an incredibly powerful tool for extracting some of the strongest emotions and reactions from… Continue Reading →

“Society” Fourth Listen

The object of criticism in this song can at surface level be discerned simply from reading its title, and with no further knowledge of its composition or lyrics. That being said, however, the specifics of the statement being made, or… Continue Reading →

Sheep: Fourth Listen

“Sheep” by Mt Joy socially critiques the justice and police system in America, as well as how most people turn a blind eye to issues that don’t affect them, and how important it is for those in the position to… Continue Reading →

Meek Mill – Trauma (4th Listen)

Meek Mill openly critiques the criminal justice system, not only by illuminating what it is really like in Prison, but also by illustrating what the effects of the criminal justice system can have on African-American families. Growing up without parents,… Continue Reading →

The Man ~ Taylor Swift

The social critique being made through Taylor Swift’s song “The Man” argues that being a woman puts humans at a disadvantage from men. Swift alludes to issues of gender inequality through her lyrics in “The Man” by describing how her… Continue Reading →

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