Music marks great moments in time and I'm sure that I don’t have to drive home the point to you about just how dynamic of a moment we are living in right now. American History is being made and chronicled. But to what tune?
The tune of unity. Beyonce's song FORMATION was formed in 2015 to bring awareness to African American injustices perpetuated across the world though especially in New Orleans, the birthplace of her mother, Tina Knowles Lawson. The song FORMATION is cornerstone jam for organizations and groups around the world, especially as they form in the name of overturning racial injustice.
New Orleans is like Dallas, is like Minnesota is like New York and like the rest of the world though New Orleans is the location for the video FORMATION in memory of the lives lost and disrespected during Hurricane Katrina. Racism is not just a United States of America – thing, though rapping about it - is a KRS-One thing and it has been for many decades. The SOUND OF DA POLICE track still jams hard, unfortunately, the lyrics are still an accurate depiction of racism against Black Americans and their communities by the police:
Music is important in the black community. When we were marching with Martin Luther King songs were sang by the protesters to encourage themselves. The oppressed march; music lifts the spirit of all who comprehend it when they hear it. In light of Black Lives Matter - #BLM the NFL has decided that they will play or have a singer belt the BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM - [BNA] at the start of a few season opener games; slated before "The Star Spangled Banner.”
Performed by: COMMITTED
I have always felt comforted when I hear the Black National Anthem. I always envision my ancestors singing alongside of me. Check out Times Magazine's take on retelling the necessary story behind the BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM.
Besides it being a spirited song, how will playing the BNA convey to the players and fans that you care about Black Lives? Shannon Sharp isn’t a musician, but his thoughts on the BNA being played at the start of NFL games is worth hearing:
Black people love music and the Black National Anthem is beloved in our communities but even playing it the BNA at the start of everyday on the morning news wouldn’t make a difference in the lives of Black people if police continue to shoot, strangle, and kill unarmed victims in Black communities? Portland, Oregon is not a black community, but they are asking the same question as federal agents have descended on protesters in the streets. Unfortunately for Portland there is no new song to encourage their efforts of evolution, but it does look like Michael Jackson left a word of wisdom reflecting times like these:
We all know that MJ was ahead of his time when it came to music compostion, so I began to research more to get a better grasp on what songs today have been born to encourage this generation of protesters. I am happy to report that E Online content producers had already cataloged a few of them that convey strong messages in the #BLM movement:
USHER – “I CRY”
BEYONCE – “BLACK PARADE”
LIL BABY – “THE BIGGER PICTURE"
H.E.R. – “I CAN'T BREATHE”
TREY SONGS - “2020 RIOTS: HOW MANY TIMES”
LEON BRIDGES – “SWEETER”
DA BABY – “ROCKSTAR – BLM REMIX”
J COLE – “BE FREE”
BLACK THOUGHT – “REST IN POWER”
JANELLE MONAE – “HELL YOU TALMBOUT”
JOHN LEGEND - “GLORY”
There’s message in the music. Music is the message. Are you listening? Are you jamming to the lyrics? Music will always be important; it moves us onto one beat, a groove of support, encouragement & emotion. These are only a handful of direct-response tunes that are the theme to this era. What’s in your ear, i.e, what’s your cause? Let's jam it.