We are living in uncertain times. On a global scale we can consider the daily innumerable issues which occur throughout the world. However, for many, the political events of Brexit and the US election are currently operating as culminations of and catalysts for societal divisions.
Music has always operated as a space for expression, as well as a platform for reasoning and healing. In a time of uncertainty, sometimes the only certainty can lie with a need to feel that we are not alone.
It’s impossible to construct a definite list of what this era’s soundtrack should sound like – especially when we understand these moments from varying perspectives. However there seems to be a shared pattern and sentiment for which songs are listened to and created in the face of the unknown. Here’s a very small collection of songs, birthed from Hip Hop, which have offered energy, comfort and/or a sense of belonging for myself recently. Perhaps they can offer the same for you.
In no order of importance, here’s the tracklist accompanied by a few stand-out lyrics. If you want to lean straight in, you can find the playlist at the end of this page.
Where Do We Go – Solange:And I don't know where to go/No, I don't know where to stay/Where do we go from here?
Stressed Out – A Tribe Called Quest ft Faith Evans:We gotta hold it down so we can move on past/All adversities, so we can get through fast, like that
Mystery of Iniquity (Live) – Lauryn Hill:Only two positions: victimizer or victim/Both end up in destruction trusting this crooked system
A Dream – Common ft will.i.am:Flip the page, now my race became freedom/Write dreams in the dark, they far but I can see 'em
Keep Ya Head Up – 2Pac:Because there's too many things for you to deal with/Dying inside, but outside you're looking fearless
Wings – Little Simz:Ain't got the time to be your enemy/That sh*t is draining, they're taking up too much energy
Where You Belong – Jay Prince ft Jordan Rakei:Yo this is where you belong, this is where you belong/Don’t you forget it
Alright – Kendrick Lamar:N*gga, when our pride was low/Lookin' at the world like, "Where do we go?"
Chill Pill (Experiment 2) – Hawk House:So we stay fly through the turbulence/And all of these occurrences/And shrugging off these storms
F.U.B.U – Solange ft The Dream & BJ The Chicago Kid:Don't clip my wings before I learn to fly/I didn't come back down to Earth to die
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