5 Black Artists Using Music To Inspire And Tackle Important Social Issues That You Should Know

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Alice Smith

As some of you know, I have a huge chick crush on Alice Smith. Her powerful voice coupled with a phenomenal library is just a recipe of awesome. Like Leyla, Alice needed to use her music to express what she was thinking about the Eric Garner case. About a week after the grand jury’s decision, Alice posted a link to “Shell Shock,” the song she did with singer-songwriter Sam Dew and TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, who is also the founder of Federal Prism Records. This song’s Fela Kuti-esque (yes, I just made up a new term) afro-beat combined with the raw lyrics and emotional energy from Alice’s voice stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it. Truthfully, I want to just get up and run from its truth until my energy is spent. I would love to play this song for one of my friend’s mom who was very politically active back in the 60s/70s and watch her listen. Hopefully, it would turn into a history lesson you can only get from someone who was there.

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