It’s Election Day, finally. With the 2016 U.S. Election arguably being the most controversial presidential election the country has seen, decompressing from all the craziness with the help of music can be used as a tool for liberation.
For years, Hip Hop music has been referred to as the “CNN for Black people” by MC’s from all regions like Ice Cube and Public Enemy’s Chuck D. “Rap is our invisible TV network. It’s the CNN that black people never had,” Chuck D once said. Harlem native Cam’ron has even expressed that their music doesn’t promote violence, but rather is a reflection of what is happening in their communities allowing them to play the role of reporter and or journalist.
Hip hop and politics have been intertwined since the 1970s. From the great Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five to the Fayetteville phenom that is J.Cole, the genre has a history of creating content that highlights issues which directly affect marginalized communities. With Hip Hop mogul Jay Z being the latest MC openly urging citizens to register and vote during this 2016 election, here are politically charged Hip Hop songs and freestyles to help you get through Election Day.
“The Message” – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
Lyrics: Broken glass everywhere/People pissin’ on the stairs, you know they just don’t care/I can’t take the smell, can’t take the noise/Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
“Be Free” – J.Cole
Lyrics: Can you tell me why every time I step outside/I see my niggas die/Ooh, I’m letting you know/That it ain’t no gun they make that can kill my soul/Oh, no
“U.N.I.T.Y.” – Queen Latifah
Lyrics: Instinct leads me to another flow/Every time I hear a brother call a girl a b*tch or a ho/Trying to make a sister feel low/You know all of that gots to go
“Changes” – 2Pac
Lyrics: And although it seems heaven sent/we ain’t ready to see a Black President, uhh./It ain’t a secret don’t conceal the fact…/the penitentiary’s packed, and it’s filled with blacks…
“FDT” – YG feat. Nipsey Hussel
Lyrics: Look, Reagan sold coke, Obama sold hope/Donald Trump spent his trust fund money on the vote/I’m from a place where you prolly can’t go/Speaking for some people that you prolly ain’t know
In need of more tunes? Listen to our Election Day playlist below featuring Ice Cube, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, MC Lyte, Talib Kweli, Common, Nipsey Hussel, Public Enemy and more.