How many times a day do you think you listen to music? In my day to day routine I eat, walk and breathe with my headphones in. But that’s just me.

Music can be an extremely effective medium of protest. Why? Music gets heard. With music online and—mostly—free, a song can reach almost every corner of our world today. Music’s “shareability” makes it a powerful vehicle for messages geared towards an entire society.

Our past reflects these trends. Music provided the fuel for multiple major social movements of our time. The “counterculture” of the sixties was essentially shaped by many musicians of the time. Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary and Jimi Hendrix, all performed and wrote music protesting America’s involvement in Vietnam. The song “We shall Overcome”, popularized by Pete Seeger, soon became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.

What about today? It’s everywhere. Music has something to say, and these three female artists are using their lyrics and music videos to stick it to society. Their music is saying some pretty important shit. So listen.


Formation—Beyonce

If you didn’t hear about Beyonce’s formation video, your eardrums and your soul have been essentially crushed by the large rock you’ve been living under. Formation is the first song that’s forced America to pay attention to its content because it’s video sparked so much controversy and discussion. Plus, the song is performed by the *true* ruler of the free world, AND it aired just before she performed at the Super Bowl. Formation features multiple, obvious references to Hurricane Katrina, police brutality, the Civil Rights Movement, slavery and current black power movements. The video is dedicated to representing black experience both in 2016 and throughout America’s history.


Borders—M.I.A.

MIA is a fucking badass. Seriously—this gal has been rocking the music and political worlds for some time now. Her song and music video “Borders” sparked huge controversy. The video is loaded with refugee imagery, featuring the singer performing amidst a boat packed with human bodies, climbing fences and wading into the water. She also got HUGE backlash from the corporate world, as she changed “Fly Emirates” to read “Fly Pirates” in her video. *ouch*. I mean, CHECK OUT THESE LYRICS.

Borders

What's up with that?

Politics

What's up with that?

Police shots

What's up with that?

Identities

What's up with that?

Your privilege

What's up with that?

Mhmm. yeah. spicy.


Hailee Steinfeld—Love Myself

Now, last but certainly not least is Ms. Hailee Steinfeld. You’d know her mainly as that girl from Pitch Perfect 2. Well, she released a hit single. Girls love it. It’s super catchy, but also has quite the catch. It’s about masturbation. WELL, FINALLY. Yes, society, girls masturbate too. We also orgasm, if you didn’t know that too. Check these lyrics out and tell me I’m wrong. “Pictures in my mind on replay/ I'm gonna touch the pain away/ I know how to scream my own name/ Scream my name/Gonna love myself” uhhuh, honey. The message here is female empowerment, sir.

So we see that music is fuggin powerful, man. Even when hidden, important messages are disseminated into society through music, without people realizing.


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