The recent acts of violence on both African Americans and police officers has rocked US and entire world, as many are increasingly angry and frustrated at yet another round of gun-related violence in the past few years. Many prominent figures in both politics and popular culture have spoken out against recent events, and here are 7 artists and bands in particular that left an impact on their fans and listeners.
One of the most successful living artists of the 21st century, Beyonce probably easily has the biggest platform for speaking out against violence and police brutality, and at a recent concert in Glasgow, she fully took advantage of that platform. After a brief moment of silence, the singer stunned the audience with an a-cappella version of "Freedom," a powerful track off her most recent album Lemonade
. During all of this, the names of victims of recent police attacks were displayed, truly displaying the sheer amount of people who have lost their lives due to insensitive violence. The concert occurred the same day Beyonce released a statement on her website
demanding that police "Stop killing us."
2. JAY Z:
Following his wife's lead, Jay Z has expressed his sadness and anger over the recent violence by releasing the song "Spiritual"
on TIDAL, as well as a statement that read:
"I'm saddened and disappointed by THIS America. We should be further along. WE ARE NOT."
The artist also released a playlist titled "Songs for Survival"
, which includes artists like James Brown
, Bob Marley
, Nina Simone
, and Kendrick Lamar
3. JOHN LEGEND
A prominent political voice and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement for years now, John Legend has not been any less quiet about the recent killings of Alton Sterling
and Philando Castile
. The artist has essentially dedicated his entire twitter page to spreading support for Black Lives Matter, showing support for Sterling, Castile, and the policemen who were gunned down in Dallas, and calling out those who reinforce bigotry and racism. Post after post, Legend is a prime example of a prominent artist using social media and their scope of influence to is fullest potential.
Following the murder of Anton Sterling, Drake posted an open letter on Instagram
, saying that he was grateful to call America his "second home", but incredibly disheartened and scared for his friends and family by the ongoing and senseless violence. "No one begins their life as a hashtag, Drake said, Yet the trend of being reduced to one continues."
Macklemore: Similar to Drake, the "Thrift Shop" rapper also took to VIA
Instagram to express his grief, but took on a more frustrated tone directed at the American brand of racism cultivated from years of cultural conditioning and hegemony.
"A person isn't born fearing someone because of the color of their skin. This fear is taught, crafted and instilled in the fabric of our American lives, Macklemore wrote. The rapper concluded by telling those who vent on social media to donate to the Black Rights movement and to, Have conversations about race...With people that look like you and people that don't."
Along with releasing a new song dedicated to the victims of police violence, How Many, Miguel broke down onstage while discussing the recent violence at Londons Wireless Festival this past Friday. Clearly distraught over recent events, Miguel shared his grief with the audience, saying that he couldn't sleep the previous night and that "We cannot rest anymore. We have to do something. We have to say something."
7. MY MORNING JACKET
While not as well known as the other artists on this list, the indie jam-band released a powerful and intense track "Magic Bullet", a potent commentary on the recent gun violence and frustration with the lack of action. The band also released an accompanying statement on their Facebook page, simply stating "Violence is never the answer. Only love. We all need to be part of the discussion. Part of the solution."