This week’s Music Monday – Ferguson Edition features songs by both well-known and local artists about and dedicated to the events happening in Ferguson, Missouri [for more].
I feel that music is a powerful voice of American history. From the blues to hymns to folk to country to hip hop, lyrics from any of these genres have found ways to tell the stories of our lives. The songs in this playlist, I believe, reflect not only the current events, but how a community of people feel about the country they live in and the importance of freedom of expression in human rights.
Featured photo of graffiti at QuikTrip parking lot in Ferguson
Black Rage by Lauryn Hill – Remixes “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music” – It’s described by Slate.com as a “Painfully Prescient Song for Ferguson”
New Black by B.o.B – Lyrics: “We need less rappers and more doctrines / We need less ballas and more prophets / We need more unity and less gossip / But who am I to speak / I neva went to college”
New National Anthem by T.I. featuring Skylar Grey – Time.com writes, “T.I. and Skylar Grey Lament America’s Culture of Violence…” – Lyrics: “Home of the brave and free / Free just to murder me / Land of the beautiful / Cursed by the hate we throw / Is this the new national anthem?”
Be Free by J. Cole – The Huffington Post article about the song says, “the piano-driven ballad demands peace and calls for an end to gun violence.”
Frontline (They Don’t Really Care) by Keem – Local St. Louis rapper released this song and wrote #RIPMikeBrown
Ahh Sh*t by G-Unit – The reunited group in an exclusive interview said, “[the song] was a spur of the moment decision spawned by watching coverage on Michael Brown and the Ferguson, Missouri protests on CNN during numerous studio sessions.” In another article on Vice.com, the writer says of the song: “It’s not exactly “Changes” by Tupac or “F*ck Tha Police” by NWA, but G-Unit has provided fans with the extremely topical [song] which references both Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the man who died last month after being put in a choke hold by the NYPD.”
Teddy Bears by Seneca Da Product (from Ferguson, MO) – From unityfirst.com: Hip-Hop Artist- Seneca Da Product—shares moving tribute song “TEDDY BEARS’ R.I.P MIKE BROWN” in honor of his friend, Michael Brown
I Am Mike Brown by G.A.G.E – Blackamericaweb.com writes: “A rapper named G.A.G.E. has released a song entitled “I Am Mike Brown” with poignant lyrics in response to the tragic events that have recently unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri.” The song uses early statements from Mike Brown’s Mother and Dorian Johnson, Mike’s friend, who was walking with him during the incident.
Crying in the Street by Billy Bragg – Singer-songwriter and activist, Billy Braggs, held an impromptu performance at The Royal in St. Louis joined by Joe Purdy. The local newspaper, Riverfront Times wrote about it, “Billy Bragg Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: “Liberty and Justice for All!“
Maybe Not by Cat Power – Artist has been on Twitter sharing information about the events in Ferguson. Over the weekend, Cat Power and Sky Ferreira held two free benefit concerts for the protesters at the Firebird in St. Louis. There are two clips, one from the event and the second is the full song with lyrics.
Bonus video: MTV Airs Ferguson PSA During VMA Broadcast
We also have a Sound Cloud list that includes songs that couldn’t be found on YouTube.