Instead of going on a tirade about how craptastic it is that a pussy-grabbing racist who lost the popular vote by about 2.9 million won the presidency, let’s talk about art. About how music motivates. You could watch the inauguration, drowning yourself in shots every time you see a white face – wait, don’t – you’ll give yourself alcohol poisoning. Or, you could drown that awful scene in good music. Here are 10 killer albums, 10 years old or less, that the Great Orange One would hate.
“A Seat at the Table,” by SolangeMusic can and should make you shut up and listen. “A Seat at the Table” is Solange’s third full-length album and shows the celebration and struggle of being a black woman in America. Minimalist funk and R&B are backdrop to honest lyrics of how black lives matter. This album may sound soft, but it takes a hardline of non-apology for voicing societal inequality.
“Brute,” by Fatima Al QadiriThe soundtrack for the revolution is sometimes scary. “Brute” is a collection of warning sounds of the world we are living in. New York-based Kuwaiti musician Fatima Al Qadiri uses an array of samples (police scanners, sirens, media clips, helicopter blades, etc.) to create a dystopic album. This is what freedom dying sounds like – like a damn David Fincher, ambient terror film.
“Cashmere,” by Swet Shop BoysSouth Asian samples and energetic beats compliment the Swet Shop Boys as the look at government surveillance, police violence, and racism. Riz MC is a London native of Pakistani descent. Heems (of Das Racist) is an Indian-American New Yorker. “Cashmere” throws down social justice and identity politics in a way that makes the political personal.
“The Revolution Has Come,” by Reverend Sekou and the Holy GhostReverend Sekou is a St. Louis activist who was arrested for kneeling to pray in front of riot police during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Sekou met his collaborator, Jay-Marie Hill, at a protest after Hill was pepper-sprayed. They wrote 11 songs in six days, nine of which are on “The Revolution Has Come.” Neo-blues and gospel frame transcendent anthems full of fortitude, purpose, and hope about black, trans, and genderqueer life.
“Rub,” by Peaches Peaches wants you to whistle-blow her clit. We know this because she puts feminist, carnal lyrics up front against electroclash, bass-heavy beats. For 15 years, Peaches’ albums have been marked by gender identity politics and fluid sexuality. She is fulla innovative vulgarity. She appalls people who aren’t used to a woman stomping the notions of acceptability, aging in public, and what is or is not beautiful. In her own words, “I’m an everlasting iconoclast/I came to destroy the past.”
“We are the Halluci Nation,” by A Tribe Called Red Highly-inspired by the Native American author, poet, and activist John Trudell, “We are the Halluci Nation” is A Tribe Called Red’s third album. Direct politics of anti-colonialism, fighting oppression, inclusivity, and empathy are threaded through an EDM experience. A global groove is found through not only samples, but the musicians featured, like Canadian Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and American poet and rapper Saul Williams.
“We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your service,” by A Tribe Called QuestNoted funkonauts, A Tribe Called Quest, smashed an 18-year hiatus by dropping “We Got It From Here …” They weren’t alone for it, either. Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Elton John, and André 3000 all make appearances. Intolerance, media accountability for election outcomes, and black humanism come out through bohemian, complex rhymes proving A Tribe Called Quest has only gotten better with time. You’re a master of your craft when you’re able to dissect misogyny, the politically corrupt, and drug abuse and still be an uplifting record.
“White People and the Damage Done,” by Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of MusicJello Biafra has been pissed for decades. That’s a damn good thing for music. Grit-growlin’ guitar shoves against Biafra’s high-nasal vocals making “White People and the Damage Done” a proper punk rock fury show. Anger turns to snark turns to examinations of white privilege, corporate kiss-assery, and capitalism. Bonus reason to listen: Biafra recently dedicated a performance of the song “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” to Donald Trump.
“xxx” EP, by Pussy Riot Pussy Riot went to prison for “hooliganism” for two years for protesting Putin in Moscow. Two years. In prison. For performance art. Double douchetroll points for Trump for being friends with a dickspit like Putin who puts artists in jail. The EP itself is three songs long, two of which are anti-Trump, pro-women anthems. The last, “Organs,” speaks to repression and militarization and is sung in Russian. An English translation can be found online, revealing … “Freedom and bondage is the same shit now/But instead of inserting cocks, they inserts tanks in my town.”
“Year Zero,” by Nine Inch NailsAt 10 years old, “Year Zero” is still all too relevant. Through the clanging of futuristic sounds and driving drumbeats, Trent Reznor creates an apocalyptic future that doesn’t seem all that far-off. A world in chaos, greedy leaders, and the disappearance of civil liberties coast over dark sounds in this, the fifth album of Nine Inch Nails. What is supposed to be a concept album of an American police state comes off as an ominous, all-too-real possibility during our current political climate.
Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer