The Protest Song Is Not Dead
(Photo: Shawn Peters/Courtesy of the artist)
When Prince released his new song, "Baltimore," in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray, it was striking mostly because it was an original; it's unusual to hear protest music from today's mainstream pop stars. But R&B, rap and soul musicians have always found ways to contribute during turbulent times, says NPR Music writer Jason King.
To prove his point, King has curated a 100-hour playlist of protest songs that spans decades — from the O'Jays and Nina Simone to D'Angelo, Gregory Porter and John Legend. That playlist is streaming on I'll Take You There, NPR Music's R&B channel, through the long weekend.
King joined NPR's Audie Cornish to talk about his choices. You can hear their conversation at the audio link above before heading over to the stream.