We’re proud to finally announce the launch of a new project we’ve been working on: Protest Music, up now at www.protestmusic.org. Given the diminished role of political and socially conscious music in the mainstream — especially in the United States — we wanted to create a way to help rebuild its momentum. Between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s, for music to be political was almost the norm in the US. But these days popular music seems to have virtually nothing to do with popular protest. Even hip hop, once seen as cutting edge, now in the mainstream offers very little in terms of meaningful social critique.
Thankfully this is not the case all over. Artists around the world have preserved music as a form of resistance to a far larger extent than the popularity of apolitical music would suggest. In many places it’s actually the hip hop community that most effectively channels the rage and discontent felt by so many in society. We intend to use this website to help raise the profile of such artists, as well as reinforce the recognition of protest music as a unique genre, able to hold its own against any other.
With much to protest in this day and age, music has an integral role to play at the forefront of any effective social movement. Using the written word to promote artists, albums, songs, and genres, along with commentary on music-related books, documentary films, concerts, etc., we hope to help re-introduce political and socially conscious songwriting into the mainstream. So follow Protest Music on Facebook, Twitter, or Lokashakti — and feel free to subscribe to our RSS feed as well. If you’d like to write for us, click here.