Released at the height of the Vietnam War, Marvin Gaye’s hit-heavy album explored themes of race, environmentalism and conflict. It also marked a new direction for the Motown record label..
Rap songs from Public Enemy and Ludacris have been heard at marches over the killing of George Floyd. But the history of Black American music as a form of protest dates back to the 19th century.
“What’s Going On” remains relevant today. Even now its plaintive lyrics speak eloquently about a post-9/11 world that’s upside down.