‘What’s Going On’ was a turning point in Marvin Gaye’s career.
Jim Britt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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..
March on Brooklyn Bridge
Erik McGregor/Sipa USA
Over the past 50 years, protesters’ voices have found power in unison. But activists and onlookers have increasingly been exposed to new sounds that aim to shatter rather than gather the crowd.
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.
The stigma attached to HIV and AIDS, particularly in hip hop culture, is rife. The disease is represented poorly and often factually incorrect through lyrics.
A raised fist carving on a highway at Touho, Grand Terre. Kanaks, New Caledonia’s Indigenous people, have struggled for independence for over 150 years.
Indigenous New Caledonians, who will vote in an independence referendum next week, have been struggling since French colonisation in 1853. Through songs, they have chronicled past traumas and resistance heroes.
The Supremes, with their polished performances and family-friendly lyrics, helped to bridge a cultural divide and temper racial tensions.
Fifty years ago, Sly and the Family Stone sang ‘We got to live together, I am no better and neither are you.’ The words ring just as true today.
Prophets of da City.
One of South Africa’s finest hip-hop crews message was that you couldn’t box identities forged through multilingual living in the ghettos.
Rapper Skibkhan in the video for ‘Shob Chup,’ which condemns the culture of silence around poverty and inequality in Bangladesh.
In voicing youthful outrage over inequality and violence, Bangladeshi rappers are creating a powerful form of protest music — just as American MCs have done for 40 years.
Hugh Masekela performing in 2015.
Esa Alexander/The Times
The protest song “Stimela” remains as much a song about present and future aspirations, as it is of the past.
The cover of Marvin Gaye’s album, ‘What’s Going On’.
“What’s Going On” remains relevant today. Even now its plaintive lyrics speak eloquently about a post-9/11 world that’s upside down.
Keur Gui - Thiat, left, and Kilifeu, right.
The international community has failed to recognise the new political visions being articulated by young musicians and activists across Africa.
The Junkyard Band.
In 1985 The Junkyard Band shifted the paradigm by challenging Reaganomics. Many of those same key issues still rage on today, across the world.
The cover of ‘Seven Steps to heaven’.
From: Wolf's Kompaktkiste
The story of jazz in the ANC army-in-exile, Umkhonto we Sizwe culture is far more nuanced – and positive – than depicted in a new film.
The cover of “Ghost town”.
A 1981 odd and eerie protest song, ‘Ghost Town’, still resonates today. It remains a cry out against injustice, against closed off opportunities by those who have pulled the ladder up.