Political Activism in Music
I would creeping through some old threads in the Music section one day and I noticed some comments about political activism in music, and I decided to make a thread about it.
I believe that political activism in music is extremely important as musicians truly have the platform to make the world a better place. While I do believe that political activism has sort of been put on the back burner for some musicians, I believe that there are some musicians who still incorporate activism of all kinds into their music. One of which is, yes, Lady Gaga. Yes, I am a little monster, but I am not just saying that because I am a Lady Gaga fan. Gaga wrote a song called 'Americano' for her new album 'Born This Way'. This song preaches about the immgration law and ga.y rights. However, what I find most remarkable is that Gaga has preformed at ga.y rights events, used her fame to help repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell and gave speeches at equality events. The activism doesn't just stop at the music.
Of course, Gaga is not the only artist to do this. Take for instance, The Beatles. 'Revolution', to me, is about not using hate and violence to protest. Neil Young wrote a song called 'Ohio' calling out the actions of the National Guard who killed the students. Green Day is also one of the many bands who have incorporated activism into their music.
Do you have a particular artist that you would like to mention? How do you feel about activism in music? Do you agree of disagree with it? Do you think activism has not been incorporated into music recently? What poltical song really speaks to you? Feel free to share your thoughts. :smile:
I'm not sure activism today is quite the same or as strong as it used to be. Most stars today scream publicity stunt when they try to be active, at least to me, and very few seem to follow through on protests or on spreading their concerns in interviews and the such. Lady Gaga actually really stands out to me because she does those things that echo what the 60s and the 70s were about and she walks the walk instead of just talking a lot about issues. I like a star who is willing to go out and march and go rallies to convince people about the issues near to their heart and she's done a lot to help push g.ay issues to the forefront in a time when many people would rather fight GLBT rights. I'm hoping that in the future she'll turn her attention to transgender rights more since I feel like its an area that gets ignored a lot.
In contrast though to me is Green Day. Maybe they've done protests and I'm unaware, but they go out there and pose now as this political band and I've never once actually seen them do anything beyond whine a bit in their songs about war. If they want to claim the title of activist, then they should d.amn well be out there protesting this war. I don't like groups that think they can ride on political problems without going out there and proving they really care about the issues. I suppose they bother me more than other groups because this is an image to them. When the pop punk image stopped working, suddenly they came out again as political activists and my eyes just rolled.
On a side note, I think Rage Against the Machine does some really great political music. Totally a group that really embraces not only doing it on the side, but also incorporating it into their music (Political views and activism of Rage Against the Machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). A little sample: ‪Rage Against The Machine-Bullet in your head‬‏ - YouTube
Slight side track, what about groups that aren't political activists, but use their music to comment on politics and society? I think of Rammstein immediately because they are the group my mind has been jumping to lately and they do this a lot. For example: ‪Rammstein - Amerika‬‏ - YouTube A comment on commercialism and also how in many countries their culture has been basically traded in for being more American. I think there is a lot to be said about how thought provoking songs like this can be, which is something groups like Green Day have failed to grasp by embracing political commentary as an image.
If anything, I've just established that I think there are categories of political music and activism:
Artists who are politically active in their private lives, but not in their music.
Artists who use their music to comment on politics and societal problems, but are not politically active.
Artists who both write it into their music and are active.
Artists who use political activism as an image.
Ahh, this brings me to my distaste for Katy Perry. Forgive my ranting if it is incoherent and "offensive".
Katy Perry claims that she loves her ga.y fans and whatnot, however she is the daughter of a priest and did make Christian music. Now, I am not saying that this means she is anti-ga.y rigts, of course, you shouldn't judge political views based on religion. However, when you make a song called 'Ur So G.ay' I find it offensive to the LGBT community. I view this song as extremely offensive because she is basically associating the word 'g.ay' with a negative connotation if you have listened to the song. My dislike for her may be sparked my the fact that she inferred the Alejandro video was blaspmeous (sorry for spelling issues, its late) when she is writing songs about kissing and posing with cross around her bare chest. -.-
Basically, the rant above if you bothered to read it, was about how some stars talk the talk but don't get their butt their pedastal and do something.
Katy Perry has a song called that? *totally offended* And I mean it, I'm lesb.ian and it really does hurt a ga.y, bi, or lesbi.an. And I agree with you on that the fact that stars dont give a time to forget about their fame to care.
Lady Gaga, agree. I like the fact that she's willing to stand and up and make her voice be heard. Alot of artists today don't do that as much as they should. And to add to that, Lady Gaga also took a stand for Japan after they have the earthquake when other stars who claim they care did nothing.
One group I would like to put out here is H.O.T. They are Korean and they are an old school group. They took a stand by speaking the word of the younger generation in Korea and how they feel. Each song they came out with other that two songs raised awreness for topics. And for that, the older generation of Korea banned their songs and wouldnt let the younger generation buy their albums. They were willing to have their voice heard no matter what outcome.
RATM is truly remarkable. Not only do they truly care about their political imagery in their music, they also care about in their performances. Yes, burning the American flag and hanging it upside down may be seen as extreme but it was truly to make a point. And sometimes, you have to get people to listen. They also performed a concert for free, which shows they truly care.
H.O.T. is also great. They didn't care if they would be banned..they took a chance. Even though the outcome may not of been positive, they still got their voices to be heard. It is great to know that other parts of the world are using music for their views.
Now I also bring up Madonna. Does anybody know if she does any particular activism? Especially for the *** community since she does have so many *** fans. I wouldn't know..never been a huge fan of her personally..
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