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The Modern Artists That Fight The Power

Music and emotion go hand-in-hand. An upbeat pop song with positive lyrics will go a long way to boosting your mood, while a slower, more melancholy song will surely make you contemplate every single mistake you’ve ever made (or is that just me?).

The same goes for anger, if you want to be mad about the current state of the world your music choices will end up reflecting that. It’s no wonder, then, that anti-establishment, politically charged music has always had an audience.

Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’, released in 1989, is still making an impact to this day. The same goes for ‘Killing in the Name’ by Rage Against the Machine (1992) and Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ (2004). And where the Manic Street Preachers are concerned, what wasn’t political?

Woodie Guthrie Art - Katie Moum

Many genres can stray into the political theme from time to time, with rap and rock standing at the forefront of the movement. The rap and R&B genres have always had close ties with black culture, and has been a crucial mouthpiece for BLM. Rock, following on from its parents punk and rock’n’roll, has been used for protests and activism all over the world.

So who succeeded these legendary artists? The political landscape is ever-changing, yet modern artists seem to have no problem keeping up. Fever 333, a three-piece rock band from California, have been creating racially-focused hard hitting songs since their formation in 2017. It would be difficult to find a song of theirs without a comment on the racial inequality in America.

Singer and frontman Jason Aalon Butler grew up in the city of Inglewood in California where, he said in an interview with Exclaim!, he saw friends shot dead outside his mother’s house, and even his own mother was shot at. These experiences are reflected in 333’s song, ‘Inglewood/3’, with the lyrics:

“La Cienega and Hill, yeah, that's where my homeboy got killed

In the alley where they tried to shoot my moms, damn

First time I ever thought to grab a gun”

Guns still appear to be a common theme in anti-political music. Among his commentaries on homophobia, drugs and mental health, British artist Yungblud made his stance on the weapons clear in ‘Machine Gun (F*ck the NRA)’. From his 2018 album, the song is based around the school shoot