Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter (blacklivesmatter.com)

Following the shocking police murder of George Floyd in the US, attention has turned to institutionalized racism once again. For some years now Black Lives Matter focuses on libration from oppression, freedom and equality for all.

The digusting threatening letter to Dutch Kick-out Zwarte Piet organizer Jerry Afriyie clearly shows The Netherlands still has a long way to go as well. Besides the inevitable abolishment of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete, the annual Dutch tradition involving blackface), racism and discrimination is present here as well. I clearly remember discussions with my wife about taking my name in order to enhance her chances on getting a fair shot at getting a job. That was 25 years ago. The fact that, if we had to make the same decision today, we wouldn’t even have to think about it, is very sad indeed.

Of course the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement also influences the world of music. This article presents a small selection of songs that focus on recent events, the celebration of Juneteenth (June 19th, annual remembrance of the liberation of the slaves in the US) and the call to vote in order to stop the re-election of Trump.

 

Anderson .Paak - Lockdown (top40.nl)

Anderson .Paak – Lockdown

Typical .Paak song. Beautiful, piercing and hopeful.

Oh, won’t you tell me ’bout the lootin’ what’s that really all about?
‘Cause they throw away black lives like paper towels
Plus unemployment rate, what, forty million now?
Killed a man in broad day, might never see a trial
We just wanna break chains like slaves in the South

 

Beyoncé - Black Parade (stereogum.com)

Beyoncé – Black Parade

Beyoncé is back with a new song, not as impressive as Formation, yet still very welcome.

Hold my hands, we gon’ pray together
Lay down, face down in the gravel
Woo, wearin’ all attire white to the funeral
Black love, we gon’ stay together
Curtis Mayfield on the speaker
Lil’ Malcolm, Martin mixed with momma Tina
Need another march, lemme call Tamika
Need peace and reparation for my people
Fuck these laid edges, I’ma let it shrivel up
Fuck this fade and waves I’ma let it dread all up
Put your fists up in the air, show black love
Motherland drip on me, motherland, motherland drip on me

 

Frisco - Black Man (nme.com)

Frisco – Black Man

Very impressive song by the British rapper Frisco.

We live life but we know death
Police kill a Black man then we protest
Listen, I swear down man I’m tired now
We need change right now

 

Noname - Song 33 (stereogum.com)

Noname – Song 33

The very talented Noname responds to J. Cole’s Snow On Tha Bluff, which in itself was a reaction to Noname’s call to rappers to speak out on the recent events.

Wow, look at him go
He really bout to write about me when the world is in smokes?
When it’s people in trees?
When George begging for his mother saying he couldn’t breathe
You thought to write about me?

 

Public Enemy - State Of The Union (STFU) (pitchfork.com)

Public Enemy – State Of The Union (STFU)

P.E. is full effect. With Flavor Flav, a relentless and passionate attack on Trump.

Mister, I am the law & you are not
In fact, I’m god, I got a lot
Mister these united breaks takeover come over
Orange hair fear the comb-over
Here’s another scare, keep them hands in the air
Better not breathe you dare not dare
Don’t say anything don’t think nothing
Make America great again the middle just love it
When he wanna talk
Walk y’all straight to them ovens
Human beings of color, yeah we be sufferin’

 

For your listening experience and comfort, here’s the playlist.

Also read the review of Run The Jewels’ RTJ4.

Video/Spotify
This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Black Lives Matter. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.