Guerilla Radio

When I think of protest songs there is one band that is well known for their songs that addressed social justice issues during their time. Rage Against the Machine is a band that was able to use their platform to protest and stand up for issues they believed in. Guerilla Radio is a single off their 1999 album “Battle of Los Angeles”. This song has a very alternative feel but something that was interesting about the band’s style was that the lyrics were not sung but instead were rapped. The song has a loud in your face type beat and seems like the type of music associated with mosh pits and headbanging. Musically there is big emphasize on the use of drums and guitar to hype up the song. Some of the lyrics get lost in the music and the way lead singer Zach De La Rocha choices to rap them is hard to understand. However, for some of the lyrics, he chooses to yell them almost as if he was leading a protest and was giving a speech. The choice of yelling the lyrics is interesting and puts more emphasis on what is being said. Something that the artist chose to do which I thought was important was during the song he specifically choices to only have the drum in the background as he quietly raps, “It has to start somewhere, It has to start sometime, what better place than here? What better time than Now?” These lyrics are a call to action for the listeners to start a change and be free thinking. The general overview of the song is the importance of being able to stand up and share your opinions of what is going on politically. This song was written during the Bush election and was directed at him. The band Rage Against the machine does have dozens of songs that talk about different issues and Zach De La Rocha wrote his songs as protests against specific ideas and events. They are a band that I feel offer a lot of content that embodies speaking out and calling for social justice.


America is a single off hip-hop artist Logic’s 4th album. Logic’s album “Everyone” took a step back from what a “traditional” rap album discusses. In this project, Logic used his voice and platform to talk about many different issues relating to mental health, race, and political issues. America is one of the songs he wrote to talk about how he viewed America in 2017. He also talks about President Trump as this was one year into his Presidency. This song also featured four other artists, Chuck D, No I.D., Big Lenbo and Black Thought. These features help develop the lyrics of the song and give more perspective to the song. At first, the song starts off with an upbeat and fast tempo beat. Something that I found interesting was how the chorus had a muffled effect on it almost as if it is being said through a bull horn. This effect is added to other parts of the song and makes the verses sound more like words of protest and drives that idea. The beat changes towards the end of a song, it goes from a very fast and upbeat tempo to a slower version of the same beat. The bass and drums of the beat are more prominent in the latter beat. This gives more power to hear the lyrics the rappers are saying without so much background noise. This is an important feature and feels like it was done intentionally in order to emphasize what the lyrics are saying. The lyrics during this part of the song says “Now send the blacks back to Africa Build a wall for the Mexicans Send the whites back to Europe Give the land to the Native American Take the skyscraper Tear down the casino Print your own paper And bear down on the gringo,” these lyrics are communicated clearly and list issues that the artist sees with America and the views of some people at the time. When looking at the lyrics the listener can see how many viewpoints are being shared within this one song. Each artist shares a different view of America in their verses and talks about the different struggle and problems they see. Lyrically Logic is one of the better rap artists who can use lyrics to paint a picture and tell a story. This song the lyrics are strong and are used to point out flaws the artists are witnessing. In the end, I would not only like to delve deeper into this song for my podcast but I would also be interested in looking at Logic’s project “Everyone” as a whole because it talks about so many different issues and is completely different than any other rap albums.