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Songs to Listen to Stay “Woke”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Framingham chapter.

Article by Maria Hornbaker

is no doubt that “Get Out” is the movie of the year when it comes to highlighting social injustice and misplaced values and beliefs. Although that movie is the go to, there are plenty of songs that have been released that highlight the issues in our society that no one either talks about or have been, with that being said here a list of a few songs that can bring to light those misplaced believes and some unnoticed injustices.

1. Black Zombie by Nas

This song by Nas is probably the closest to the movie’s theme. The song is about the misplaced assumptions that are placed on black youths and how society tries to mold them into their own expectations, while doing so they are stripping away their identities. A few significant lyrics that Nas has are; “We trapped in our own brain…we’ve already gone insane.”; “You scared to be yourself, cause you in a trance, feel free, heard the music and dance.”, “Walkin’ talkin’ dead, though we think we’re livin (black zombies).” This is a particular song to turn to when you want to feel empowered to take a look at yourself and the conditioned thoughts you have grown to have.

2. Where Is the Love? by the Black Eyed Peas

This one everyone can agree is a classic. “Where Is the Love?” by the Black Eyes Peas is a popular song in pop culture. The song is a reflection of the society that embraces hate more than it embraces love, and that we should try to be more aware of the struggles that we all face and the struggle that the world is experiencing at various times. The songs speaks on discrimination amongst different cultures and how we have come to ignore hateful actions done by others. This song is a good song to listen to every now and then to remind ourselves that we should not act so blind to the injustices that are going on, even more so during this time. A few significant lyrics from this song are; “Every time I look up, every time I look down No one’s on a common ground (Where’s the love) And if you never speak truth, then you never know how love sounds”, “But if you only got love for your own race (Where’s the love) Then you’re gonna leave space for others to discriminate (Where’s the love).” This song makes the listener reflect upon their own actions and see how aware they are of any discriminations that maybe being ignored.

3. Stupid Girls by P!nk

This song is not as gender neutral, but the message is. The song is about how girls and women tend to belittle themselves for the attention from men and the acceptance of society. Girls and women should not think that they are not entitled to do great things and accomplish the unexpected. The song highlights how at a certain age girls start realizing that expectations are put on them that are different than their own aspirations. Some significant lyrics from the song are; “What happened to the dreams of a girl president? She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent”, “Disasters all around World despaired/ Your only concern Will it f*** up my hair?” This song is important to remember because it tells young girls that their dreams are still relevant regardless of any external expectations. It also reminds others to support all types of aspirations.

4. Til It Happens To You by Lady Gaga

Although this song has a lot of repeated lines, the lyrics with a dialogue hold a strong meaning. Rape is a difficult discussion for those that have been victimized to discuss, what makes it worse is when someone dismisses its damages as if it’s something that will go away with a few pills and a week’s rest. That arrogance adds to the difficulties for rape victims to speak out, and get the support and treatment that they need. This song narrates the feelings that rape victims feel when they hear someone tell them to push through it when they have no idea what “it” is. Some significant lyrics from this song are; “You say I’ll pull myself together, pull it together, you’ll be fine, Tell me, what the hell do you know? How could you know?” This song highlights the pressure and difficulty that society places on rape victims to be able to express their stories and feelings. It’s a good song to listen to when you want to be able to understand a small amount of what a victim may be going through and try to be more sensitive when discussing rape.

Disclosure: All of this is based on personal interpretations of music and the lyrics, not a global interpretation of these songs since some opinions will differ.