Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything""This song is one of empowerment, and its message is as simple as it is beautiful. This whole album manages to stay socially relevant, even twenty years later, and the impact is still there when Lauryn lays out 'I wrote these words for everyone who struggles in their youth.' Plus a baby John Legend plays piano on this track."
Janet Jackson's "Black Eagle"
"Janet has never shied away from getting political on her records, whether it be one of her biggest hits or a deep album cut. Her latest album, Unbreakable, followed suit with 'Black Eagle' serving as a symbol for the state of America vis-à-vis the plight of the black community in America. While there have been many rallying cries by other artists to fight against the unconscionable wrongs served against the African American community, Janet gives us softer anthem that inspires hope and reminds us that black lives do matter and we can 'help people feel human again.'"
Khidja's "Drums of Taksim"
"This powerful statement-track by Romanian duo Khidja, which incorporates Alan Berliner's 'Poem for Istanbul,' is a scary reminder that totalitarian regimes are on the rise—and that democracy requires people to constantly fight for it."
Anohni's "Drone Bomb Me""Wow. Anohni's voice can always strike a nerve, and this heartbreaking song (and video) creates a simple narrative from the point of view of a war-torn nine-year-old. It makes you ask yourself, 'Is this who we want to be as a country?'"
A Tribe Called Quest's "We The People"
"ATCQ's final album is a masterpiece as a whole, but this song, recorded before the election, clearly stands out with its empowering message. The intense music video bolsters the song, mirroring its ferocity against the xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny that plagues our nation, but it's Q-Tip's melancholy chant, 'All you Black folks, you must go/All you Mexicans, you must go/And all you poor folks, you must go/Muslims and gays, boy we hate your ways...' that is chilling with its prescience, given the divided state of our nation."
Solange's "Don't Touch My Hair""The lyrics and video say it all."
Paradisco by Occupy The Disco
Every Sunday at Le Bain, 3pm-9pm
The Standard, High Line
Header photo by Neil Aline