My must-listen list of music containing 3 singles released between June 20th and June 26th, all which specifically reference systematic racism, police brutality, and/or the associated protests which have occurred and continue to occur across the world.
Week 9 will be structured like the last 3 weeks (Must Listen, New Music: Week 6 #BLM, Must Listen, New Music: Week 7 #BLM, Must Listen, New Music: Week 8 #BLM). Instead of interpreting, I am listening and learning. I will not be making assumptions about these songs as they would mean absolutely nothing, as I do not personally suffer from acts of racial injustice. In order to properly support and fight for those experiencing racial injustices, we must understand the situation from their perspective and confront the racial injustices that they face — each and every time they happen. The protests that started during Week 5 are continuing across the country in Week 9, despite the media’s lack of sufficient coverage of the events. And though this list contains 3 songs, as opposed to the 6 or more I usually include, artists are continuing to highlight the racial injustices and systematic racism.
Music provides an outlet for artists to express their own experiences, in their own words. So, instead of me speaking on behalf of each artist about experiences I can never fully understand, I will let the lyrics and the artist’s words speak for themselves.
On Twitter, Christian rapper Lecrae announced the song before its drop by tweeting a thread that includes “2020 has been a difficult year…I have found myself in immense pain over the past couple months from the effects of the pandemic to the perpetuation of injustice and racism in America” and continued “Yes, I’m tired. Yes, I’m hurt. Yes I’m fighting for hope everyday. If I’m honest, some days I’m just trying not to go off the deep end.” When the song was released, he posted an audio snippet of the song on Instagram with the caption “#DeepEnd of this pit but still somehow I keep on floating, Thought I lost my grip but God reminded me it’s holy. #Restoration in progress.”
"The world gone mad, can't ignore this noise Look at these people found dead in the streets I got some partners that hate the police"
"If I'm still breathin', I'm runnin' for Ahmaud, man"
"Deep end of this pit, but still somehow I keep on floating on Thought I lost my grip, but God reminded me He's holding on"
"Sometimes legs get weak and your arms give out And you sink to the bottom slowly A grown man wishing that somebody hold me Never knew my daddy, so nobody show me Taught me how to walk through the storm when your heart feel heavy And it's hard and you're feeling lonely"
[ ℗ 2020 Reach Records. ]
For the mega-successful R&B artist’s latest release, he took to Instagram: “This song was inspired by wanting to teach my sons that it is ok for a man to feel emotions deeply and to cry. Like many men, I was raised to believe that we have to be ‘tough’ and not show our vulnerability, which I don’t want to teach them. While I was shut in during the pandemic and watching the death of George Floyd, the ongoing slaughter of Black men and women, the protests and the events that unfolded, I became very connected to the wider universal feeling of hopelessness. Like many, I grew increasingly frustrated by how slow things have been to change. I became very depressed thinking about all the sons who have lost their fathers to police brutality, social injustice and violence; the daughters and mothers too. So I returned to this song and realized it was intended for this time, so I finished it and here it is.” He also dedicated his proceeds from the record to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation “in support of Black-owned small businesses and Black-led community organizations.”
"I can't keep it together I usually don't show my emotions But it ain't getting better 'Cause you can't be blind with eyes wide open And I see struggle, I see pain I see only the mess we made I see things that I can't change And it hurts my heart to say I cry For the sons without fathers And the pain that their mothers Hold deep inside And I'll fight For the future we're making We can change if we face it 'Cause these tears won't dry So I cry"
"For the truth that's unspoken For the promises broken I will stand by your side I'll fight For the ones who stopped dreaming And the ones who stopped believing You're not alone I feel your pain"
[ ℗ 2020 Brand Usher, LLC, under exclusive license to RCA Records. ]
"When they gon' stop killin' ni***s man? Enough is enough Why they lock up all the real ones man? Enough is enough [...] Man, that shit ain't right, I know my rights, enough is enough I can't sit back, let 'em take my life, enough is enough"
"All this racist shit gon' fuck around and make me send it up They keep killin' all these ni***s, man, a ride ain't enough"
"Marshall Law, fuck you thought, that's the police's disguise I don't need no reparations, bitch, just gimme back what's mine You know I keep the peace, but the peace is a nine"
[ ℗ 2020 Trippy Music, LLC & Entertainment One U.S., LP. ]