WeedMZ: Protest Songs Are Back…Bigly!


Many people long for the days when protest songs were used to speak out against controversial government actions.  I’ve even read blogs about “Where are the protest songs?”  Wait no more, because protest songs are back…and bigly!

The latest mainstream entrant is from Depeche Mode and their new song, “Where’s the Revolution.”  Like any good protest song, the lyrics are blunt:

“You’ve been pissed on
For too long
Your rights abused
Your views refused
They manipulate and threaten
With terror as a weapon
Scare you till you’re stupefied
Wear you down until you’re on their side”

Eminem is jumping into the fray with the song “No Favors” on Big Sean’s new CD release this Friday with a flurry of exploding lyrics, including:

“I’m anti, can’t no government handle a commando
Your man don’t want it, Trump’s a bitch
I’ll make his whole brand go under (yeah)”

Other new protest songs have come out just in the last few weeks, including:

Bright Light Social Hour – “Tear Down That Wall

“If they build it, we’ll tear it down
When they try again, when they try again, we’ll tear it down
If they push us out, we’ll come back in and tear down that wall
Be together again”

Run the Jewels – “Down

“Ballot or bullet, you better use one
One time for the freedom of speeches (speeches)
Two time for the right to hold heaters (heaters)
Just skip to the fifth, with the cops in the house
Close your mouth and pray to Jesus”

A Tribe Called Quest “We the People

All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways
So all you bad folks, you must go

Here are other protest songs from the last few months when the election heated up:

Musicians and the creative community have long been at the forefront of social commentary that leads to social change.  This seems to be taking hold again as we enter 2017 with huge street protests.  It will be interesting to see if protest songs gain traction, if mainstream radio stations owned by publicly traded companies will have the balls to play them, and if the people will react.

On a lighter note and definitely a new twist for 2017, Bastille just released this humorous video called “Alternative Fact” promoting their U.S. tour.

Based on the amount controversy already generated by this new presidential administration, I’m guessing there will be many more protest songs and many more creative twists by bands to follow.