BLM in music

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The explosive impact of this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests was bound to stir music makers into creative action. Public Enemy’s Chuck D, once described rap as “Black America’s CNN”, the genre that provides the soundtrack and commentary to life in the ghettos. Fight The Power, released in 1989 is arguably the band’s magnum opus. Remixed for 2020 it includes a stellar line up of collaborators such as Questlove and Black Thought from The Roots, Rapsody and Nas. Meanwhile the images in Anderson. Paak’s Lockdown drive home his lyrics about police brutality and the video closes with a fist encapsulating the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who have paid the ultimate price. Janelle Monáe combines historic and contemporary footage of inspirational Black struggles and leadership in Turntables a stand alone track which features in the documentary All In: The Fight For Democracy. Elsewhere, Terrel Wallace who records as Tall Black Guy has released a poignant 23 minute EP entitled Restless As We Are. In Britain Grime artist Kano”s Teardrops first featured on his 2019 album Hoodies All Summer. It is now released as a single with a video highlighting the grim reality of stops and searches.