Election Day Playlist
Whether this is your first election or fifteenth, being able to participate in the democratic process is something to celebrate. So today, I’m going to give you a list of some songs I think would go perfectly with the political charge of Election Day.
First and foremost would have to be “Hood Politics” by Kendrick Lamar. The song, off To Pimp a Butterfly, operates under an extended metaphor of comparing gang life to politics. Sometimes, it seems that the metaphor is more apt than its surface implies. Given the nature of this election and the conceptual scope of Lamar’s album, it doesn’t seem a stretch that the two go hand in hand.
St. Vincent is pretty a-political. The queen of the avant-garde has lyrics that bubble with the type of tension that is usually reserved for a David Mamet play. Her penultimate album, Strange Mercy, is full of anxiety fueled songs that examine the inner-workings of relationships. One of these songs is “Cheerleader.” Aside from all the references to lies and seeing America with no clothes on, the video stylistically captures what it means to be a woman in the public eye–i.e. hyper-scrutinized (hey, sounds like one of these candidates).
The Radio Dept. has always stated they were a political band. That said, their agenda has, up until Running Out of Love, been buried deep in their grooves. Not so anymore. Taking on the rising of the fascist parties of Sweden and the fascist parties in America, The Radio Dept. tackles the tough political climate while staying in tune with the personal. “Swedish Guns” is a satyrical comment on the ease with which nations will go to war.
Vince Staples is the political nihilist of this list. His album Summertime ’06 is full of an energy that is compelling and distraught. Mixing hopelessness on the personal level and on the social level, Staples makes a complex series of connections between the plight of those trapped in poverty and the nation. Plus, “The only presidents that change the hood are dead and green,” is just about the heaviest line ever.
No matter what the outcome of the election, there is bound to be someone whining over the results. We’ve seen it in Florida over a decade ago; we’ve seen it in the birther conspiracies. We’re bound to see it no matter who wins. Whining is better than political commercials at least. Right? That’s why Abra’s “Crybaby” will be the perfect song to silence the internet backlash to the results. Someone whining? Post this song to their wall. Someone yells at you for whining? Reply with this song.
No matter who you vote for you shouldn’t be sorry (well, there is one, but…). When the results come in, what better way to celebrate than to repeat “Sorry” by Beyonce? The song is a perfect mix of bravado and revenge. Her album Lemonade is the perfect anthem for those oppressed by the going ons of this nation. And “Sorry” is the album’s call to action.
I could make this list go on forever, but if I did, I wouldn’t get to vote (nor would you). So, listen to these songs and cast your ballot, or cast your ballot then listen, or don’t listen and cast your ballot. Whatever you do, go and vote. It’s important. I’ll end this post by saying we can go back and forth about the candidates, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to fill in those circles on the actual form. This is why Craig David’s “Fill Me In” ends this post. So go forth you vinylphiles and fill ‘em in.