Several ends can be achieved when music is utilised effectively. And one outstanding end known in history is with social and political liberation. In the years gone by, as political oppression and inequality dominated several landscapes, music was an effective tool for expression to rally people together for the sole purpose of resisting oppressive governments and laws supporting inequality.
“……the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements in the USA were iconic in their use of music. Music brought people together, it inspired hope; it allowed a shared expression. Having a shared expression is vital in the relationship between music and politics. Because music and lyrics can be interpreted differently by different people, it is possible for individuals with different experiences to all share in their resonance with a particular song or piece of music. The shared expression can most obviously be seen through national anthems.” (https://medium.com/the-jist/music-is-still-a-powerful-political-tool-7edca3e14a00).
Another commenter puts it this way; “African American spirituals, gospel, and folk music all played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement. Singers and musicians collaborated with ethnomusicologists and song collectors to disseminate songs to activists, both at large meetings and through publications. They sang these songs for multiple purposes: to motivate them through long marches, for psychological strength against harassment and brutality, and sometimes to simply pass the time when waiting for something to happen.” (https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-rights-history-project/articles-and-essays/music-in-the-civil-rights-movement/).
Music had so much to offer and still does. Even the notable activist, Martin Luther King Junior, is quoted to have said; ‘” the freedom songs are playing a strong and vital role in our struggle.” What can be said about the well-known apartheid struggle in South Africa? The ordeals faced by late Nelson Mandela gave birth to many protest songs that drew worldwide attention. Some of such included; “fire in Soweto” by Sonny Okosun (1978), “Nelson Mandela” by Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse (1994), “it’s wrong” by Stevie Wonder (1985), “my black President” by Brenda Fassie (1989), “I ain’t gonna play Sun City” by Artists united against apartheid (1985), – (source: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-nelson-mandela-dies-music-ten-essential-antiapartheid-songs-20130627-story.html).
And we can’t fail to mention what has been produced by the late Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley. He used the piece “Get up stand up” to create awareness regarding emancipation. Nigeria’s Fela Kuti isn’t left out too. “In 1976, Nigerian musician Fela Kuti released a song titled Zombie that criticised the oppressive military regime in Nigeria. In the song, Kuti compares the Nigerian military personnel to zombies who follow orders mindlessly.” (https://scroll.in/article/948202/the-art-of-resistance-zombie-by-fela-kuti-questions-repressive-governments).
The list also accommodates some like: “the story of O.J” by Jay-Z, “the storm” by Eminem, “quiet” by MILCK, “a wall” by Downtown Boys. These protests and freedom songs became a means to an end. The message was clear, and it also knew its target. The success of these works, and other proofs, has shown that music can be a weapon in a bloodless war. Therefore, no musician should miss out on this. Future songs need not be against apartheid, but it can be a means to end things like rape or corruption in government.