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  • Writer's pictureDennis Howard

Songs of Protest and Lamentation

While many fans and commentators have been critical of the lyrical content and actions of some hip-hop and Jam-pop artists, others are still many songs dealing with serious issues. These protest songs are being done by top-rated artists with massive platforms.

So while we can lament about the booty, chapter and gangster lyric are helping in the downward spiral of communities globally. There is still some excellent music that is lyrical conscious and aimed at providing voice and solutions to societal problems that are facing the world currently.

These songs have attacked issues of racism, neoliberalism, gender inequality, police abuse and corruption, political cronyism, corruption and incompetence.

It gives us hope that all is not lost and that those with ears will hear eventually.

Here are some songs that are great examples

BloodClaxxt - Baby Cham and Bounty Killer

"BloodClaxxt" touches on all the significant issues that are currently keeping Jamaica underdeveloped and most people under oppression. Picking up from where they left off in the 1990s, the two veterans of Dancehall unleash a biting criticism of the failures of the political system.

They are dispelling accusations of political bias on their part due to their earlier songs of protest against the political system in the 1990s.

Done on the "Bellyas" riddim, "BloodClaxxt" is destined to make its mark as a protest dancehall song.

The Heart Part 5 - Kendrick Lamar

The Campton rapper is known for his lyrical prowess and delivers a coup de grace on "Heart Part 5". Son Rah of Fader Magazine describes the song as "a scathing indictment of the systems and mechanisms that keep America's Black population at the mercy of circumstance. Infidelity, incarceration, gun violence, poverty – Kendrick refuses to accept these facets of life as an inevitable part of the culture, all without blaming people he knows are victims of forces beyond their control."

Fed up and Tired - Busy Signal

Channelling his former mentor, Bounty Killer, Busy Signal delivers a militant critique of the Jamaican political system. He takes on corruption, bad policies, the marginalization of the poor, Covid 19 lockdowns, and invokes the philosophies of Marcus Garvey, one of the most important figures of the 20th century.

Never Forget - Sampa the Great ft. Chef 187, Tio Nason, Mwanjé

Based in Australia, born in Zambia and raised in Botswana, Sampa the Great is an amazing talent at the forefront of Pan-African excellence and progressive feminism.

This amazing artist constantly pays tribute to Africa and Pan-Africanism in "Never Forget", which features ZambianZamrock legends Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanjé.

According to video director Furmaan Ahmed "At its heart, 'Never Forget' is a homage to the strength, resilience and magic of the diaspora, the veneration of time and in particular Sampa's Zambian heritage. Set inside a world birthing itself from a dark ancestral monument, we invoke the past to imagine new futures. 'Never Forget' is a ritualistic unearthing and a celebration of our heritages and the power of music in liberation."

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