Although right now we are in times that people are divided one of the only universal things we understand in this world is music. Music speaks to people. Some people don’t believe it, but the music we listen to determines our feelings. It speaks to our emotions and our thoughts. While I do love listening to songs that rap about nonsense (as long as it’s not too crazy) nothing beats a song of substance for me. I commend artists who use their platforms to speak on topics that run deep to your soul and adds to your knowledge and not the ego. Due to the racial issues more people are tuning into singers and rappers that speak about the racial injustices around us. Here is a list of some songs that I listen to help me heal, understand and become stronger. Don’t start a debate these songs are not in any type of order.
J Cole – Be Free
This song is filled with so much emotion that it can make you cry. It’s like J. Cole penned the words of our heartache. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for people to understand what we mean when we say “Black Lives Matter” but this song says it all. “All we want to do is be free.” These words sum up what we’ve been saying since we were captured and brought over here. We are hurting on many levels and all we want to do is live a life of freedom like white people do. As simple as that is some people act as though they just don’t understand. The video above isn’t the official video for the song, but I thought it was a great visual to show the pain that we are all fighting to overcome.
Ray Kincaid – Handshake 2
A few months back I interviewed an upcoming rapper from Jackson, MS; Ray Kincaid. We’ve been friends ever since and he always makes sure to keep me updated on his new music. In his new song Handshake 2 in the first half of the song Kincaid can be heard screaming “6 shots” which is the number of times Alton Sterling was shot on July 5, 2016. Kincaid expresses his anger with the situation and how he’s fed up with simply marching as a means to make a difference. Later on in the song when Kincaid calms down in a poetic voice he explains that he really does want peace and doesn’t like the killing of innocent blacks or innocent blacks. I think that this is something that we have all thought about. I hate to hear about innocent police officers getting killed, but I can’t help but to think about my own personal fear of the police due to all of the killings of innocent black people. When will it all stop ?
Janelle Monae and Wonderland Records – Hell You Talmbout
This simple anthem encourages us to say the names of the innocent lives that have been lost. Sometimes I worry that we are becoming numb to the many murders that we hear about. Maybe it’s because of too much intake of violent video footage or because it seems to happen way too often. Maybe it’s because the media has a way of spinning things to make them look like the predator and not the victim. This anthem reminds us to not sweep their lives under the rug. We have to keep their legacy alive. Say their name!
Kendrick Lamar – untitled 05 | 09.21.2014
Kendrick Lamar literally has albums dedicated to this stuff so if you haven’t listened to any please listen to “To Pimp A Butterfly” and “Untitled Unmastered”. He has some amazing songs that he made back in the day before he became famous that you can check out on Spotify. This song just like Ray’s Handshake presents a mixture of emotions that I feel that many of us have felt, but have been afraid to expose because it’s so shameful. Kendrick tells a story about him being heartbroken and pushed to his limit about the injustices. He did makes up his mind that in order to feel better he’s going to take the life of a random white person, but once he realizes they are an innocent person just like him he changes his mind. Due to the latest killings of police officers I will say that that’s not the way although I do understand what would drive people to think that, that’s the answer. Like Kendrick pointed out in his song we are all human and those cops killed might not have had anything to do with racial injustices. I am happy that more people are opting to do more than marching, but less than killing the innocent by taking back our dollars and pouring into black businesses.
Black Owned Business – Bas
“Might as well go spend a rack a black owned business.” From here on out you should be starting a black owned business, spending money there or both. I have faith that this is very effective way for us to take our freedom. Nothing speaks like money. As a rising entrepreneur things have been tough. This song gives me courage that one day I will reach my goals and it makes me feels great by helping other’s no matter if it’s spending money or sharing the news of some awesome brands and creatives through my blog posts. Be sure to support by checking out these songs by black artist.
Do you know any more great songs on the topic of racial injustice? Share them with me !