Music That Has Changed The Game

Music That Has Shaped Black History

“Fight The Power”, Public Enemy (1989)- “Fight The Powerwas and is still considered the greatest Hip-Hop song of all time. Vh1’s list of the Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time validates this. It was featured in the movie “Do The Right Thingand hit #1 on Billboard’s weekly “Hot Rap Singles” Chart upon release. “Fight the Power” is recognized as Public Enemy’s greatest hit ever.
“Yes We Can”, (2008)- “Yes We Can” is a collaborative work produced by and a variety of other artists. The lyrics are completely composed of lines from President Obama’s concession speech at the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. The chorus lines come from Obama’s popularized campaign slogan, “Yes We Can”. By mid summer of 2008, the music video for the song had been seen over 21 million times via Youtube and many other video hosting sites. The song won a Webby Award for Artist of The Year, and it inspired underground artist around the world.
“Self Destruction”, Various Artists (1989)- “Self Destruction” was produced by Boogie Down Productions members KRS-One and D-Nice. The song was the headline of the “Stop The Violence Movement”, a music campaign launched in retaliation to the violence in Hip-Hop and Black communities. KRS-One re-established the campaign in 2008 and recorded an updated version of “Self Destruction” with over 55 artists from the rap game.
loud“Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)”, James Brown (1968)- “Say it Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud) was one of James Brown’s signature songs. It was also considered the most popular “Black Power” song during the 1960s. This song was featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”, and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it #305 on its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. It’s most notable achievement was probably toping the Billboard R&B Singles chart for six weeks, and hitting number 10 on the Billboard Top 100.
“Cult Of Personality”, Living Colour (1988)- “Cult Of Personality” is considered Living Color’s signature song, and was the first single from their debut album “Vivid”. The Band members were part of the Black Rock Coalition, and rose to fame with the release of Vivid. The Song won the 1989 Grammy Award for “best Hard Rock Performance” and its video earned Living Color two MTV Video Music Awards for “Best Group Video” and Best New Artist”. When it was released, “Cult of Personality” hit #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and was ranked #69 on Vh1’s “100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs”.
“We Are The World”, USA For America (1985)- “We Are The World” was a charity single recorded by 1985 super group “USA For America”. Both the song and the army of artists were produced and lead by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The song became the fastest-selling American Pop single in history, and it was the first ever single to be certified as “multi-platinum”. Among many other awards, “We Are The World” received 3 Grammy’s, an American Music Award, and a People’s Choice Award. The Song was re-recorded in February 12, 2010 for the earthquake crisis in Haiti.
“My Philosophy”, Boogie Down Productions (1988)- “My Philosophy” was a song produced by KRS-One, one member of Boogie Down Productions. His partner, Scott La Rock had been killed in a Bronx dispute. It was this event that sparked KRS-One’s desire to create a new rap game image. He released “My Philosophy” along with the rest of the songs from the “By All Means Necessary” album. The album itself had reached #75 on Billboard’s Top 200 list, and hit #18 on Billboards Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
“Get Up, Stand Up”, Bob Marley (1973)- “Get Up Stand Up” was a song written by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. “The Wailers’, Bob Marley’s reggae group, originally performed this song, but soon after its release, the group broke up. Bob Marley continued touring with the stage name “Bob Marley and The Wailers”. The song emphasizes the importance of bravery and action in the face of oppression.
“What’s Going On”, Marvin Gaye (1971)- “What’s Going On” was the title track to Marvin Gaye’s 1971 Motown album of the same name. Upon its release, the song had become a hit single, placing #2 on the Billboard Pop Charts and # 1 on the R&B Charts. The songs theme was based off the social and political tension existing in the world at that time. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it the 4th greatest song of all time.
“The Message”, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (1982)- “The Message” was one of Grandmaster Flash’s fastest-selling songs. It went platinum in less than a month of its release. It was the first ever Hip-Hop record to receive the honor of induction into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. It was ranked #51 on Rolling Stones “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, and was ranked #5 on Vh1’s “100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop”.