We Asked Some Of Dallas’ Most Noted DJs About Their Personal Favorite Soundtracks To The Defining Moments We’re Living Through.
Unfortunately, not much has changed as history once again repeats itself long after Rodney King and the L.A. Riots. As such, a new crop of contemporary protest songs have been recorded in response to the repeated acts of police brutality and racist murder cases resulting in the deaths of Black Americans like Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin.
Protest music in the United States stretches back as far as the Civil War, and will continue as long as oppressions leaves fractures in our society. So, as DFW residents continue to take to the streets, we thought we’d ask local DJs about their favorite protests songs for a soundtrack to the movement.
Lauryn Hill – “Black Rage”
Eddie Palmieri – “Everything Is Everything”
H.E.R. – “I Can’t Breathe”
“This song resonates deeply with me on many levels. The title is what I see as the battle cry for my generation in terms of social justice issues. I’m hoping that through this all, the literal and figurative meaning of this battle cry doesn’t get lost in translation. H.E.R. poses meaningful, direct and poignant questions that deserve answers of reform on every level. I just really like the intricate balance of depth, raw emotion, timeliness and artistry of this song.”
Rage Against The Machine – “Killing In The Name”
“This song came out in 1992, and it addresses an ongoing issue that’s affected Black people for hundreds of years, and unfortunately it’s still as relevant today as ever. The misuse of power, money, corruption and racism of Law Enforcement has got to cease. Defund the police.”
Noname – “Song 33” & Bob Marley – “Get Up, Stand Up”
“I’m stuck at a crossroads of which song to pick. “Song 33” by Noname was my first reaction because it’s a black woman’s commentary on what we have to deal with everyday — fighting for people who won’t fight for us. The other one is Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley because I’m admittedly a new fan and heard this song for the first time a day before Breonna Taylor died. It made me feel like the fight should continue and then 24 hours later, reality settled back in. But the struggle will always be there and until it’s not — we have to fight.”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
“There’s a lot going on in the world, but people’s eyes are finally beginning to open. “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar is like the perfect protest song. All this change we are experiencing has not been in vain, and I’m really hopeful that some way, at some point down the line, we are actually ‘gon be alright.”
Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture”
“Picking a favorite protest song is difficult. My favorite protest song varies and is a reflection of how I am feeling in that moment. Sometimes I feel hopeful and sometimes I feel anger with everything in between. At the moment, the one song that has been playing over and over in my head is Lil Baby’s recent release , ”The Bigger Picture.” To see one of hip-hop’ s youngest stars use their platform to speak to their generation and others gives me hope.”
Demarkus Lewis Feat. Tamika Mallory – “So Now What”
“This tune was created in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.”
KRS One – “Sound of da Police”
“This song outlines how the police system still does unethical, racist shit in the most raw way, and on a crazy beat.”
Scan 7 – “The Resistance”
“Detroit has a long tradition of revolution through music from Punk Rock with the MC5, to the renegade techno of Underground Resistance. This modern classic from Detroit Techno vets Scan 7 is a perfect calling card to join the fight against oppression. The opening line says it all: ‘If you can hear this you are part of the resistance.’ Check out the Blixaboy 214 Recode.”