Social Activism in Musicians

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“Music can change the world because it can change people.” Over time, music has evolved to become as different as to when we first came to know it. Music has traveled through time as far back as 500 B.C to as current as today of 2014. It was used to soothe the soul, and speak for the unspoken from small social issues to civil rights movements, music was there to express what we felt back then and what we feel now. Artists such as James Brown, Sam Cooke, Pete Seeger, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan made it possible to express their feelings towards different controversial situations presented at the time through song which, I believe, helped society stay strong along the way.

Firstly, in the 1960’s, a wise man once said, “Don’t terrorize, organize, and don’t burn, learn!” This man was James Brown, better known as the “Godfather of Soul,” who influenced many by his prominent voice and powerful lyrics which either showcased his Black Pride or spoke about the Anti-War movement in a very powerful manner. Although Brown was the world’s most sampled artist at the time, his success didn’t come easy.

According to, as a child, Brown was consumed by poverty as well as his family, and he did all he could to do to help. At the age of 15, Brown began to sing in the church where he discovered his musical talent. Shortly after, he joined Bobby’s vocal group, and that is how it all began. Due to his hardships he went through, I strongly believe that is exactly why he contributed to society in so many ways.

Speaking about are and dance style, when Brown went on with his career, he transitioned away from the traditional dancing and singing styles of the time, and helped build the style we now know as “funk”. He had a unique blend ...

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