The Courier Staff’s Favorite “Social Justice” Anthems

Courier Staff

Working Class Hero by John Lennon –  Joey Weslo

There are no coincidences. There’s only oppression, subjugation and rules designed to keep people in their place. Do not speak out of turn. Do not think out of turn. Do not question your manipulated existence. Your only purpose is to support the hierarchal elite. Protect their wealth, greed and monopoly on power. “Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV.” They need lobotomized peasants working the fields. They need you to pledge your energy to any thought but your own servitude. They want you to believe you’re the ones in control; your actions are born of freedom. They let you tie your own noose while indoctrinating and conditioning you into ownership. One step out of line and the brutal hand of authority comes down.



Time + Tragedy by Rage Against- Miguel Angel Contreras III

Time + Tragedy is empowerment in essence. There’s an unlimited amount of music that’s meant to do the same thing. But Rise Against does so in a way that intersects guttural determination to succeed with your back against the wall and the emotional empathy of gentle hand lifting you back to your feet.

Not all battles for social justice are public. This song is dedicated to everyone struggling amidst their despair and are yet to be allowed to seek the help they need. The way through the darkness is up to you. One step at a time and you’ll eventually look back to realize where you’ve been is bleaker than where you are.  



White Privilege II by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Jamila Woods – Karla Villegas Pineda

Released in 2016, “White Privilege II” analyzes the pop phenomenon of borrowing from black culture without crediting and fighting for black lives, made up by a combination of rap, gospel, and spoken interviews with white supremacists and black activists with the line “we take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?”  Macklemore dissects the ways in which he has benefitted from white privilege, and why he backs the Black Lives Matter movement.

The track opens up the conversation to white people who may support black artists but are not sure if the Black Lives Matter movement is more them. Ending with a powerful hook sang by Jamila Woods, “What I got for me, it is for me/What we made, we made to set us free,” meaning, hip-hop was started for the political and social advancement of black people, not for the entertainment of white people.



Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert – Madison Venckus

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released their song “Same Love” with Mary Lambert back in 2013. I remember hearing this song for the first time in middle school and it took some time for me to really understood what the lyrics meant. I didn’t revisit this song until my senior year of high school and I haven’t gone a day without hearing it since. The lyrics are so pure and innocent, especially Lambert’s chorus, which is what I confidently belt out every time I hear the song. Macklemore highlights the simplicity and similarities between homosexual and heterosexual relationships ending his second verse with “No freedom ’til we’re equal. Damn right I support it.”



History Has Its Eyes on You by John Legend (from the Hamilton Mixtape) – Alison Pfaff

Originally from the hit musical “Hamilton,” this rendition, originally sang by Christopher Jackson as George Washington and Lin Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, John Legend sings of Washington’s first battle, his mistakes and shame and what he wished he knew. To that there is really no way to control how we will be remembered and “who lives, who dies, who tells our story.” How I see it, it is telling us to strive for greatness and that history really does have it’s eye on us to fight injustice.



Where is the Love by Black Eyed Peas – Brooke Shapiro

Back in 2003, the Black Eyed Peas released the leading single for their third album, Elephunk, called “Where is the Love.” This song, written after the events of 9/11, talks about issues within our society and our nation, such as war and terrorism, discrimination, and racism. The song brings about a solution that love and being truthful are the solutions to our problems, having hope for our nation, even though it feels as if there is no hope when the world has been flipped upside down