In light of Donald Trump’s presidency we have discovered two things. Firstly that it is in fact possible for a child to be president and that with shit politics comes great music.
Protest songwriting has shaped so much of what we know as contemporary music today. Hip hop, punk, folk and blues all have origins in that which challenged and addressed social and political inequalities.
So in this dark hour with Donald Trump as the President of The United States, such voices have once again risen up to speak out against the inhumanity and bigotry that his presence represents.
From Kendrick Lamar to The 1975, subliminal rejection of the prophecies projected by President Trump are finding their way into contemporary music.
One of the voices at the front of the conversation for Trump era protest music is Henry Rollins, frontman of renowned punk band Black Flag.
He is fierce and fearless, one of the most articulate commentators in the music industry today, his understanding of protest music comes from years of experience and a keen eye for bullshit: “Americans are really wonderful people. America, however, is not a very nice place,” he told the ABC.
While the digital age has allowed for a wider conversation and less policing of content, the Trump presidency has opened the doors for all musical genres to weigh in on the impact this political landscape and what it means to them.
It’s not marches with acoustic guitars or on stage flag burning, rather a popularised and accessible point of discussion for a wide audience by people with significant influence.
As Rollins notes, “I think some of the best political music is not overtly political. It’s coming from a political direction, but you can’t necessarily term it political.If you feel you must say this in a song, I think you’re kind of forcing it.”
5 political songs we have noticed pop up recently:
Loving Someone – The 1975
Not Gonna Say Your Name – Entrance
Hallelujah Money – The Gorillaz
I Give You Power – Arcade Fire
Erupt and Matter – Moby and The Void Pacific Choir