Political stances taken by artists over the years

Eric Epstein, Sports Editor

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1971 – English singer/songwriter John Lennonwas a monumental political influence during theearly 1970’s because of the liberal and peace- loving opinions palpable in his lyrics. In 1971, he released “Gimme Some Truth” and “Imagine,” where he condemned former president Richard Nixon and outlined his ideal societal structure. His radical ideas were widely criticized and praised at the same time, sparking political debate across the globe.

1978 – In a time of widespread violence and political tension in Jamaica, reggae icon Bob Marley headlined the “One Love” concert in Kingston, Jamaica in the name of national peace and togetherness. During Marley’s set, he called for Prime Minister Michael Manley and political adversary Edward Seaga to join hands, symbolizing the unity and coexistence that Marley and so many other Jamaicans had longed for.

2005 – Rapper Kanye West openly shared his feelings about former president George W. Bush by blurting out, “[Bush] doesn’t care about black people” on a national television broadcast raising support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. West has since made a name for himself as an outspoken and erratic personality, frequently making his political beliefs public knowledge.

2016/2017 – Rappers YG and Eminem used their musical platforms to express their displeasure with President Trump. YG’s song “FDT” and Eminem’s four-and-a-half-minute freestyle during the 2017 Black Entertainment Television Hip Hop Awards both garnered national attention for their explicit and blunt criticism of Trump.

2019 – Hip-hop superstar Cardi B does not have any reservations about sharing her politi- cal beliefs with the world. She has habitually taken to social media to release her pointed, political opinions. Most recently, her Insta- gram rant about the downsides of the 2019 government shutdown went viral and was shared to millions of citizens across the nation.