Fight the Power: the soundtrack of US anti-racism protests - GulfToday

Fight the Power: the soundtrack of US anti-racism protests

George floyd

A woman walks past a makeshift memorial to George Floyd near the site where he died in police custody. AFP

Anti-racism protesters have rolled out a creative batch of chants to soundtrack the ongoing US demonstrations, but both fresh music and timeless classics are also front and center.

Rapper YG's recently released "FTP" – F*** The Police -- has become a de-facto anthem for the thousands of people pouring into the streets, whose demands include sweeping reforms of law enforcement after the latest death in custody of an unarmed black man, George Floyd.

Spotify's "Black Lives Matter" playlist -- a 66-track song list that includes justice-minded hits from James Brown, Killer Mike, Nina Simone, NWA, Childish Gambino, Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar -- has won over nearly one million subscribers.

I can't breathe

'I Can't Breathe'  projected on a building while protesters rally in Portland, Oregon.Reuters

And the streaming platform's daily "Viral 50" list has seen classics like Gil Scott Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" -- a spoken-word song from 1970 whose title came from a slogan used by US Black Power movements -- break into the top 10.

Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" has also seen a resurgence.

The Prince estate meanwhile released a new video centered on police brutality for the late artist's song "Baltimore," which he originally wrote and released in 2015 following the death in police custody of Freddie Gray, who was black.

BLM Protest

Protesters rally against the death of George Floyd. Reuters

Singer Trey Songz released the gospel-tinged song "2020 Riots: How Many Times," in response to the recent wave of protests, while folk and soul singer Leon Bridges released "Sweeter," a meditation on racism.

"The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel's back for me," Bridges, who was born in Texas, posted.

"I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality," he said.

"It was the first time I wept for a man I never met. I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer."

Agence France-Presse

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