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2020: sounds of an upsurge

Review by Brad Sigal |
January 3, 2021
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2020 was quite a year with huge upsurges of struggle. And when there's an upsurge, you can bet it will be accompanied by protest music. This year has been no exception.

Here are some of the great songs of 2020. Some give voice to a specific struggle, while others tackle more general themes.While it may not have seemed like it at the time, looking back it becomes clear how much powerful content was created in the heat of the struggles of 2020.

You can also play these songs as a playlist on YouTube or Spotify.

(Content warning: some of these songs contain profane language and disturbing themes)

Janelle Monáe - Turntables

 

Jeezy (featuring Tamika Mallory) - Oh Lord

 

David Rovics - As I Watch Minneapolis Burn

 

Bob Mould - American Crisis

 

María Isa - Como Duele

 

Noname - Song 33

 

Anderson .Paak - Lockdown

 

Bambu featuring Ricky G, Kiwi & Ruby Ibarra - Dittybop

 

Lil Baby - The Bigger Picture

 

Kabaka Pyramid - Babylon Fallin

 

Soulside - This Ship

 

Rebel Diaz & Tef Poe - Fiyah to the Fascists

 

Alice Bag - No Gifts for Nazis

 

The Muslims - Punch a Nazi

 

MDC - No Trump No KKK No Fascist USA

 

Ana Tijoux - Antifa Dance

 

Resistance Revival Chorus with Rhiannon Giddens - All You Fascists Are Bound to Lose

 

Black Thought - Thought vs Everybody

 

Lonnie Oceans & Xtina Beni - Warfare

 

Coriky - Last Thing

 

Billy Bragg - Can't Be There Today

 

Tré Burt with Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell & Sunny War - Under the Devil's Knee

 

Des Demonas - The South Will Never Rise Again

 

Vic Mensa - Bethlehem / SC Freestyle

 

Black Thought - State Prisoner

 

Beyonce - Black Parade

 

Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion - WAP

 

Run The Jewels with Zach De La Rocha and Pharrell Williams - JU$T

 

Public Enemy - State of the Union

 

Jasiri X - Rob Jeff Bezo$

 

A Tribe Called Red ft. Boogey the Beat and Northern Voice - Land Back

 

Downtown Boys - L’Internacionale

 

Brick - Fake Names

 

Anti-Flag - A Dying Plea, Vol. 2

 

GMAC Cash - Tired

 

Lil B - I Am George Floyd

 

Vivir Quintana - Canción Sin Miedo

 

Las Cafeteras - Long Time Coming

 

Chicano Batman - Manuel’s Story

 

Ana Tijoux - Rebelión de Octubre

 

Dax - Black Lives Matter

 

Demi Lovato - Commander in Chief

 

H.E.R. - I Can’t Breathe

 

Alicia Keys - Perfect Way to Die

 

Bambu - Signing Off

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