“Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange ft. Sampha is a calm sounding song, but with a stern request and addressing of a social justice issue. The music itself is predominantly made up of simple beats. Trumpets and horns play and increase in sound and tempo during the chorus. The beat, even as its most climactic, is still relatively simple and calming. The lyrics is where Solange’s message is predominantly conveyed. In just the first stanza, there is so much revealed about her hair and her identity.

“Don’t touch my hair
When it’s the feelings I wear
Don’t touch my soul
When it’s the rhythm I know
Don’t touch my crown
They say the vision I’ve found
Don’t touch what’s there
When it’s the feelings I wear”

Here, Solange unpacks a lot. Her hair is an expression of her identity and culture, and it’s not there for white races to find intrigue and curiosity from it. Touching her hair, which is part of her body and her identity is problematic and offensive. It is not to be fetishized by people who do not share the same experiences as she. Hair has a large history with the identity and oppression of the black community. The infamous “pencil test” during South Africa’s apartheid is one example how the white community used an identity in the black community to classify and marginalize. Along with the lyrics, it’s also important to note her delivery. She’s pretty calm and very direct. She isn’t drowning out her lyrics in music, but letting her words carry her meaning. She is not angry, just frustrated and alarming calm.

This song is by a popular artist, and is enjoyable to listen to, but also holds so much meaning to such a large group’s identity. It may address a social issue that is most commonly addressed in protest songs, but it looks at the oppression in a modern-day societal issue rather than a historical or governmental issue.

Like so many artists, Fiona Apple took her disgust and rage on the new presidency out in a protest song.  This protest song became an anthem for The Women’s March. After leaked recordings and videos of Trump’s statements about women, women everywhere were disgusted by the way in which their president viewed their gender. Fiona Apple took to her music producing skills to make the song “Tiny Hands.” The song repeats over and over again “We don’t want your tiny hands anywhere near our underpants.” This addresses the scandal of Trump claiming he can get away with grabbing women because of his wealth and status and also pokes fun at the repeating joke that Trump has small hands. The repeating lyrics are angry. It’s a chant, so anyone can speak it and join along. There are little clips of Trump’s infamous leaked recording, which can be used to get the crowd angrier and continue the chant. The music is techno. It’s not supposed be about the music, but rather the words of the chant.