With hashtags such as #NotMyPresident, #MyPresidentIsBlack and #ThankYouObama trending well into the weekend ahead and then some, the majority of us are taking to Twitter to discuss the hard-to-swallow reality that, for some Americans, January 20, 2017 marks a day of grim, inevitable transition and is one that simply isn't ever going to sit right.
With a country more visibly divided than ever, the next four years will be about maintaining through the madness, positively lifting one another up within our communities and making sure that we do everything imaginable to check Trump on all his bulls**t as best we can. For artists of all mediums, this means using one's voice effectively, creatively and wisely, with many rappers turning to their music to deliver honest, blunt messages of frustration, resistance and hope, placing a reinforced emphasis on the undeniable power words hold and inspiring others to rise above what is trying to keep us down.
Although we've entered a time of uncertainty, oppression and political unrest, hip-hop will always serve as a necessary reminder that, in the infamous words of Kendrick Lamar, "We gon' be alright." Check out some brand new, politically-charged anthems that were released today in the spirit of fighting the system, making for a perfect soundtrack fit for this weekend's ongoing protests, the Women's March on Washington and the next four years alike, with fists up, the music loud and the message clear.
After a brief, six-month hiatus, Tunji Ige returns with fiery new track "Why Don't You." As he navigates what feels like a post-apocalyptic future, he curiously digs up optimism that had previously been buried beneath a menacing reality check, proving that, in a true homage to Charles Bukowski, what matters most is how well you walk through the fire. Accompanied by a visual directed by his longtime creative director Glassface, Tunji finds himself unbothered by dark forces, such as a trigger-happy cop and a man in a gas mask mysteriously throwing money, with a little anti-Trump graffiti thrown in for good measure.
Joey Bada$$ gets political on his latest track, "Land of the Free," dedicating the anthem in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. On his new single, the Pro Era emcee reminds us just how raw his talent is, with every lyric he spits holding meaning and merit. With quotables such as "Can't change the world unless we change ourselves" and "I feel my ancestors arrested inside of me / It's like they want me to shoot my chance and change society," the Brooklyn-bred rapper keeps it all the way 100, fiercely bashing Trump and saying that despite Obama's incredible terms serving as president, he still needs more closure. This track is both a history lesson and a call-to-action, inspiring critical thinking without losing what's necessary: hope for a better, brighter future.
Brooklyn duo Young Planet releases a protest song today dropping bar after bar reminding us of the importance of taking a stand while also reflecting on how our country somehow "elected a caveman." Throughout the duration of the four-minute track, emcee Cidida spits nothing but the truth over a theatric beat produced by Eibol, creating a powerful call-to-action tied together by the undeniable fact that we're not going to back down — ever.
After listening to the f**kery that went down related to the election and leading up to Inauguration Day, Crystal Caines and A$AP Ferg swiftly chose to air some grievances on their latest collaborative track, titled, "F**kery (Run With Me)." The empowering track proudly encompasses the "take no s**t" attitude the title suggests, with the bouncy tune a perfect accompaniment to anyone ready to flex on their haters. As both spit a strong game and are ready to claim what's rightfully theirs, the track gives us an extra push of motivation desperately needed to move forward in dark times. Take no prisoners.
West Philadelphia born-and-raised emcee Chill Moody has a lot to get off of his chest, aptly titling his latest offering "This Ain't My America." For those looking out for conscious lyricism delivered with tact and intent, look no further. On his new track, he unapologetically vents his frustration, intelligently spanning honest topics such as broken promises, police brutality, slavery, mass incarceration and racial inequality, over a laid-back, horn-laden beat. "Hard not to rebel, I got that Nat Turner in my bloodline," is one of many bars he skillfully weaves together.
Rising North Carolina-based duo Jae Mansa released their new mixtape hosted by DJ Drama today, aptly titled The F**k Trump Mixtape. To kick off the single, "Keep Going," the group incorporates a sample featuring actual words Donald Trump once used at a debate, setting the tone for both emcees to absolutely go off. On the track, the duo trades verses, explaining how living in Trump's America really is "do or die." The good news is both are dedicated to "keep going," refusing to let the grim realities of the current state of our nation stop them from fighting the good fight.
Sometimes the best way to go about things is to freestyle your way through them. While it's arguable that's what Trump will be doing for the next four years as he attempts to navigate the highest political role with zero experience, New Haven's Joey AX felt inspired to put together a last-minute speech of his own in response to the 20-minute inaugural address we suffered through earlier today. The rising emcee goes full throttle, weaving in some hilarious bars alluding to Trump's qualifications to run the country, such as, "You're more false than all your mentions / You're more lost than Guy Fieri in a kitchen." Yup, he takes it there.
Because this will never not be relevant. "My president is Black, my Lambo's blue..."
(Photo from left: Manny Carabel/WireImage, Larry Busacca/Getty Images, Mike Pont/Getty Images)