Over the past two and a half months, as much of our country has lived in quarantine, we’ve witnessed the violent loss of black lives with disturbing frequency. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have died at the hands of racists and law enforcement. Complex Networks recognizes the power of its platforms and is committed to amplifying their stories and the voices of our communities to work for justice.
Following the senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others, people are searching for ways to heal in their communities and ignite change. Outraged Americans have joined protests around the country to stand against police brutality and racism, while others have turned to music to spread empowerment and hope.
Many artists are using music to communicate these important messages. Conway the Machine released a protest song called “Front Lines” on June 1, while Terrace Martin recruited some of his friends to share their own stories of abuse at the hands of police. And YG, LL Cool J, Papoose, and more have also shared powerful messages through their music.
The history of songs that protest police brutality and racism goes back decades, but today we're highlighting some of the newest records that were released in response to the events happening right now. We will update this list as more songs are released.
Terrace Martin f/ Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico, and Daylyt, "Pig Feet"
H.E.R, “I Can’t Breathe”
Noname, “Song 33”
Conway the Machine, “Front Lines”
D Smoke & SiR, “Let Go”
Dre, “Captured on a iPhone”
Skrillex f/ Ty Dolla Sign, Ant Clemons, Nia Miranda, Virtual Riot, “You See It”
LL Cool J, IG Freestyle
Nick Cannon, "I Can't Breathe... Again!"
Jim Jones, “The People”
Lil B, “I Am George Floyd”
Trinidad James, “Black Owned”
Dame D.O.L.L.A., "Blacklist"
Dead Prez, "Together"
Trey Songz, “2020 Riots: How Many Times"
Elijah Blake f/ Donald Lawrence & Co., "Hanging Tree (2020 Stripped)"
Lil Baby, "The Bigger Picture"
DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, "Rockstar (BLM Remix)"
T-Pain, "Get Up"
T-Pain has shared a music video for his new track "Get Up." The song, which was produced by LevyGrey, 11VN, and T-Pain, begins with a clip from a Malcolm X speech. Proceeds from the track, as well as new merchandise that T-Pain has dropped to coincide with the track's drop, will go towards Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. Head here to shop the pieces.
"This song was actually meant to come out at the end of March, but I decided to switch it out last minute and release 'Wake Up Dead' with Chris Brown first," T-Pain said of the release. "We had all of the artwork and marketing assets created months ago. It’s very ironic because it all has so much more meaning to it now with everything going on in the world. I thought it was silly to hold this song. I want people to be motivated, inspired, and to continue to Get Up and push forward." Watch the song's music video up top. —Abel Shifferaw