Then we had a black-studies course in high school, and I became obsessed with black history because it felt like, for the first time, the world made sense. You would see your community and how people lived, and they would tell you we just did not want better. But I could see how hard people worked, and they still could not get ahead. Studying history calmed me. The most I ever read was in prison. Reading made me process the system. Because I am already a conspiracy theorist. People locked in the basement for 23 hours a day, being beat by the officers.
Yes, the 13th. So you were first arrested — for the original charge — at 19? My first arrest was actually going to school. In sixth or seventh grade. I got caught and went to jail for trespassing. My mom had to come get me. Selling crack. When I got back, I had to get back in the street and start really selling weed to get me a lawyer, because everyone who had a public defender got crucified. My mug shot has my face swollen, both sides of my face beat up. You know how his hand got fractured?
Yeah, punching you. He charged me for him punching my face. They said I pointed a gun at them. That always stuck with me. But if you were on probation and began smoking weed? I barely sleep from so much trauma. Sometimes you just want to smoke and go to sleep. This is your dad right here. My mom was a probation officer. In a place with no public transit, they would drive to work and get violated. That makes no sense. If you gave me three months, that is not lenient.
In prison, you were and-1, right? Isolated all but one hour a day?
Nobody can. I kept blacking out in the middle of the day — not passing out, but like falling asleep. Twenty-three and a half hours a day. Come out to take a shower, back to your cell. When did you realize that you had a platform, and that you should use it to advocate for more than yourself? When I saw the support people gave me. He keeps going to jail. I caught one case at the age of I am I have never been back to prison for a crime. Basically all billionaires except me. Robert Kraft saw me in prison, and he was like, How are you still smiling? He was like, If that was me, I would be depressed, mad, angry.
Yeah, but that comes from my environment. So how do you deal with the trauma? I just override it. Rapping is one of my therapies. The saddest thing I can think about is Lil Snupe, an artist I had signed, got killed at 18 by a grown man. That bothered me a lot for two years, but I suppressed it and never really addressed it.
Then one day, I started realizing that had damaged me, and I thought about it a lot. Do you actually think Reform Alliance can change the system? That will be a big win for a lot of kids who will enter the system and probably would have gotten 10 to Hell, yeah. I got a mean team with me. How many people does it take to write a No. Aubrey Graham, a. Drake, is the first voice we hear, though his verse will be abruptly cut off. Just wait till it drops.
In , the Swiss producer Ozan Yildirim, a. Oz, was given an email address that supposedly belonged to Travis Scott. Keep sending. Oz got help with a synthesizer sound from his friend Mirsad Dervic, a. M-Dee, an appliance salesman who makes music on his days off. Oz also used a sound from a pack of samples created by the German producing duo Tim and Kevin Gomringer, a. Things telescope from there …. Kid Hood. Big Hawk, who was killed in The beat grinds to a halt with a series of distorted kick drums before moving to its final section.
He was producing for local M. Music crew, of which Young is a member. Young helped Scott in crafting lyrics.
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Jonah Weiner is a contributing writer for the magazine. His last feature for the magazine was about the director Adam McKay. Tay Keith: Zach Boisjoly. Mirsad Dervic by Ozan Yildirim. I was under pretty deep. I, at least, assumed that Ally would turn into somebody like Brandi Carlile, a songwriter whose singing regularly reaches the stratosphere but who we can tell is grounded and real because she holds a guitar the way, for some of us, a lawyer holds a degree from Yale — and because Thanks, craft-neutral manager! But these women are grilling that cheese.
Why did you do that — do that, do that, do that, do that — to ME? But I watched Ally perform it with my hand to my mouth. This song is confection and sex and feel-copping. Jackson thinks so. As much as I wanted to save this sexy, damaged, doomed man, on this, we disagree. It is a staple of singalongs, the sort of song that gets belted out by groups gathered at marshmallow roasts and swimming pools.
Its recent history is clearer. In November , Pinkfong, a South Korean educational brand, released a hopped-up rendition with an accompanying animated video. It was this clip that inspired the hashtag BabySharkChallenge, instigating a viral craze that has racked up more than two billion YouTube views and spawned unnumbered spinoffs starring everyone from Indonesian farmworkers to Filipino marines to Cardi B to, undoubtedly, your friends, your family, your baby trussed in a shark costume. Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the magazine and the author of a forthcoming book about bicycles.
The video opens with the Carters dressed in gorgeous suits hers a Peter Pilotto in pink and red; his, sea-foam green Dries Van Noten standing — alone — in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Whose history belongs in our museums? The video and song meditate on this question.
The history of black people has too often been presented as little more than a curiosity. During the 16th century, Africans were exhibited in the Vatican, and in a young Congolese man called Ota Benga was forcibly kept at the Bronx Zoo. Even now, landmark museums like the Louvre tend to exhibit artwork that depicts Africans and their descendants as household servants and domestic workers.
One great complexity regarding the couple is their overt embrace of capitalism. Are they disrupting the status quo or reinforcing it? But just beneath all that spending seethes an abject rage. Love is hard, unflattering work that sometimes requires setting aside ego and reputation. What would a world created entirely by and for black people look like? They are asserting that they belong. Are we even sure that the genre ever happened? Pop punk married punk power chords with the singable hook of a radio hit. The aesthetic was embarrassing, even in its time — circuses, graveyards, men in eyeliner.
Want to fantasize about murdering your ex? For a brief, fun lapse in those dubious years, such thoughts were best expressed in a high, clear whine, interspersed with bouts of indiscriminate screaming. To me, at 14, it was more than visceral, a soundtrack for a time of hormonal disarray. Like most rappers of this latest generation, these influences evolved in a post-streaming world, where albums existed as free-floating tracks, somewhat detached from imposed genre labels.
Rap music turns on its habit-forming beats, and pop punk thrives on earwormish hooks. Accounting for the keen melodrama of both genres, it makes perfect sense that a hybridized form would triumph in this new streaming ecosystem. Juice WRLD is not the first or only artist to work in the emo-rap subgenre.
The troubles of this music scene have been well covered; in brief, they reflect the real perils of our time — gun violence, a crisis of masculinity, dual drug and mental-health epidemics. If the pop-punk songs of decades past were grandiose enough to be written off as camp, then the latest wave of emo-rap seems somehow right-sized for the terrors of our moment. Jamie Lauren Keiles is a writer in Queens working on a novel about smoking. A couple of weeks before she would step onstage to accept the Grammy for Album of the Year, Kacey Musgraves was under the covers in the bedroom at the back of her tour bus, pondering the nature of the universe.
She had a little unexpected time on her hands. A show in Chicago had been canceled, thanks to the polar freeze that had descended over the Midwest, leaving her stuck in the middle of a vast tundra with a buildup of tour adrenaline and nowhere to put it. Later, she would stand in a diaphanous scarlet Valentino dress at the Grammys, giving a speech that could, given her tone and reputation, be read as subtly anti-authoritarian.
Not so much. And very responsibly! Enough to be able to get outside of yourself and see a different perspective or point of view. What makes Musgraves such a resonant figure right now, in fact, is the way her response to a dark, anxious moment in human history is to move willfully closer to lightness, to stillness, toward the possibility of a world that comes in more colors than red or blue. When she talks about art thriving in this climate, she means it — just not in the same sense as, say, angry punks railing against the Reagan administration. What she means is that right now, the best rebellion involves turning off the hate and making space for hope.
I missed her in Chicago, where everyone was trapped inside, the streets vacant apart from the odd extreme-weather junkie taking photographs of ice floes. I had indeed seen her Instagramming this kind of mysterious, late-night Discovery Channel-type stuff — the sort of thing teenagers once saw at the IMAX theater on a field trip after getting stoned. How did she get into it? And yet even in her early years, when Musgraves looked more the part of your average Nashville aspirant, in cowboy boots and blond highlights, there was always a kind of poise, an innate regality that set her apart.
This, perhaps, is the other side of her East Texas grit — the one that manifests less as yee-haw joy and more as D. Musgraves grew up in Golden, Tex. She would make it happen on her own terms. And not in a baller way — like very small-business, check-to-check kind of a thing. But they made all their own decisions.
Growing up, she had a Spice Girls poster in her room — Ginger, with her wild tattoo, made a strong impression — and listened to emo rock bands like the Used and Dashboard Confessional. There was, of course, the requisite period in which a teenage Musgraves turned her back on the whole cowgirl thing. But this rebellion turned out to be short-lived.
I want to mix that in with something modern. This is a big-deal event in the business; its attendees are queen-makers in an industry in which success is still determined by access to radio airwaves. A young woman takes the stage at the legendary Ryman Auditorium, the so-called Mother Church of country, about to play the song that could make or break her career. A star is born. For Musgraves, performing alongside Dolly Parton at the Grammys, winning Album of the Year, presenting an award at the Oscars — all of this is unequivocally her dream. Wait, I can use my brain, sit on my ass and make a living?
By the time Musgraves eventually located her particular voice, it was already honed to a sharp edge. Back on her bus, in Wisconsin, after playing to a couple thousand freezing fans who arrived lit and ready to party, Musgraves decompressed again. I enjoy it! She puttered around her kitchen, making mugs of ginger tea. She might have scrolled through the looks her stylist had just sent through for the Grammys; she was still searching for something just right to match Dolly Parton.
If I ever have a girl, it could be cute to give her P. Sparkles, or Makeup Beauty, or whatever, you know? Lots to do. She carries her Bluetooth speaker from room to room with the tender devotion of a mother cat ferrying kittens across a flooded stream. Over the last year, an increasingly dominant voice in this mix has been Post Malone, a year-old sort-of-rapper from suburban Dallas.
Like most other post-Drake stars, he is an amphibious rap-singer who likes to brag about his vast wealth and sexual conquests — except when he is spending long soulful interludes lamenting exactly those things. But Post Malone, my daughter helped me understand, is popular as much for his persona as for his music. He is a superhero of silly, sloppy, irresponsible ease — a hard-living, cheerful goofball whose happiness makes everyone else happy.
He seems to smile with extra teeth. Everything he does seems half-accidental. He first learned to play guitar because he was extremely good at the video game Guitar Hero. He chose his stage name using an online rap-name generator. His real name is Austin Post. This sort of giddy misidentification is, in fact, the key to Post Malone. He is not exactly a rapper but is also not not a rapper. His musical roots reach down to country, metal, folk and rock — online, you can watch him play loving covers of Bob Dylan and Nirvana. That Old Time Preacher Man Sweeter As the Days Go By Daddy Sang Bass Testify Four Days Late Castles in the Sand He Came Down to My Level The Windows of Heaven Are Open He Understands My Tears The Old Country Church Down at the Cross He Hideth My Soul Through It All What a Friend We Have in Jesus I Will Sing the Wonderous Story Sitting at the Feet of Jesus Glorious Freedom I Know Who Holds Tomorrow What a Precious Friend Is He The Family of God It Is No Secret But for the Grace of God It Is Finished - feat.
Gaither Vocal Band People rarely keep religion to themselves. They talk about spirituality with others whether it's welcomed or not. They broadcast their beliefs on bumper stickers and t-shirts. And yes, they certainly sing about it. While we all know what to expect from a gospel song, you might not expect faith to infuse pop, rock, and country songs as much as it does. But listen closely because it's there. Popular singers are no exception to prosthelizing. There is plenty of prayer, witnessing for Christ, and talking to God in secular music.
Make a playlist of inspirational secular songs about God, faith and church, if that's the way you roll. And if not, then make this an intellectual challenge to see how many of these pop, rock, and country songs you've heard of. We won't judge, either way. Carrie Underwood is no stranger to mixing her music with her religion. She grew up singing in chuch. This crossover hit won a Grammy and topped both the country and Christian charts.
It describes the change that took place in a young woman's life after she was baptized. In this country song, a narrator recalls an influential old man from his childhood who was a faithful follower of Christ. The man has recently died, leaving the narrator to reflect on life and the everafter:. I can't quote the Book The chapter or the verse You can't tell me it all ends In a slow ride in a hearse. Look for some thought-provoking questions in this rock song by Joan Osborne, a one-hit wonder.
It'll make you think about how you treat other people. The underlying message is that God is in us all, imperfect as we may each be. The narrator in this rock song sees God on a street corner and confronts Him about not being there when tragedies struck.
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He feels abandoned and is searching for answers about why bad things happen to good people. Country singer Reba McEntire puts her faith front and center with this song. It urges others who are experiencing heartbreak, disappointment, and life tragedies to give the world back to God. Reba divorced her husband of 26 years in late , and he began a serious relationship with one of her couple's friends. The narrator in this hard rock song from seeks forgiveness and a break with the sins of the past. He regrets past actions and wants a clean slate: " Let mercy come and wash away what I've done.
If you don't go to church, this country song may make you want to. The narrator acknowledges that she has cussed, cheated, and lied but finds redemption when she listens to country music. Call her spiritual but not religious. In this country song, the narrator is looking forward to the day he can shed the early struggles and pain that have been weighing him down in this life.
He hopes that when he meets his Maker, he will sing with the angels, see his loved ones that have passed on, and stand in the light forever. When my daughter was born, I felt transformed because I wasn't just living for myself anymore. I had another person depending on me for survival and mentoring. The birth of one's first child is an awe-inspiring, life changing event, and this rock song won a Grammy Award for good reason. It portrays a new father's earnest prayer to teach his child how to embrace the world with arms wide open.
The narrator in this country song recounts meeting and getting to know a physically disabled child who was selfless in that he prayed for everyone but himself. His faithful devotion to God showed her the truth. Wyonna Judd gets choked up when she sings this touching country song.
It was first recorded by Christian rock group MercyMe and crossed over to mainstream charts. The tune describes the hopeful wondering of what it will be like when the narrator stands before God:. Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for You Jesus, or in awe of You be still? Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing "hallelujah," will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine. Driving home on a snowy night with her infant in the backseat, a young mother loses control of her car. Fortunately, they both survive the incident, and she credits Jesus for steering her to safety.
Immediately following the harrowing event, she recommits herself to Christ, letting Him take the wheel in steering her life. This country ballad was Carrie Underwood's first single on her debut album, and it won two Grammy Awards. Carrie Underwood was the winner of the fourth season of American Idol competition. The Christian rock band Needtobreathe achieved this crossover hit in with this heartfelt tune.
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It describes the loving kinship that exists between fellow human beings—a comraderie that mirrors God's love for humanity:. This uplifting rock song from is a prayer in which the narrator asks God to show him a sign. He asks that the Holy Spirit's light shine down on him from heaven and teach him the way. In a sad irony, the shooter in the Virginia Tech Massacre reportedly listened to this song obsessively and even scrawled some of its lyrics on his dorm room wall.
Allowing that tragedy to be this song's legacy betrays the pure and spiritual message of this lovely song. In this country song, a new father leaves the hospital where his daughter was just born and sees the fingerprints of God everywhere. Viewing the sunset and a flower pushing up through the cracks of a sidewalk, he sees the entire world through a brand new lens.
This inspirational song became an international hit and has been recorded by over different artists thus far. Pure praise music, it has since become a contemporary hymn. The song is one of worship in which the narrator praises God, in awe of the strength that He provides to cope with life's burdens. This hopeful pop song released in depicts God watching our troubled world from a distance. It celebrates the peace, harmony, and hope that await us in His kingdom where there are no guns, violence, bombs, hunger, or disease.
Does Jesus even drink beer? The guy in this country song imagines that He does. He further wonders what it would be like to have a couple rounds of cold ones with Him, then rattles off a list of questions that he would ask, including. According to the tale relayed in this country song, a farmer, a teacher, a hooker, and a preacher are strangers bound for Mexico on an ill-fated tour bus.
Each has different purposes for taking the journey, but three of them have their lives cut short when the bus is in an accident. Only the prostitute survives. In a hopeful twist, the preacher spends his dying moments placing a bloodstained Bible in the woman's hands. This act changes her life. The song is told from the perspective of her son many years later. Before his death in , George Michael routinely dedicated live performances of this song to his Brazilian lover who died of an AIDS-related brain hemorrhage.
The song compares the purity of one person's love for another to Jesus' love for a child. The love is blissful and revisits him when he is lonely and cold in order to make him complete. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Scotty Matthews - Thank you for these song suggestions.
I've added some to the playlist. Have a great weekend.
Sergio Y - Thank you for your suggestion. I've added it at Have a fabulous week. Trish Torline - Thaks for this suggestion which I have added as Todd Durnil - Thank you for the song suggestions. I added the Paul Davis song as Have a wonderful weekend. Shyron - I hope you are doing well. Thanks for the song suggestion. I put Dolly Parton's version of "Hello God" on the playlist. Have a great week ahead. Your lists are fun. I used to do them for my country website. Maybe I should do some again. All country, of course. Speaking of country and lists. I just heard a Sara Evans song that might fit this one.
I think it's called "My Baby" and the second verse is the one that fits in here. It has several songs about different color eyes. Do you have a playlist about eye colors? Thought of that when I called my daughter my brown-eyed girl today. I know it's all on you tube though. Thought you might like that Coldplay song, anyone that likes the verve, travis, keane, will like that "High speed" song, most people do.
As for the songs about God, faith, and church, if you want to make any specific song suggestions I'm certainly open to them. I have tried to limit the playlist to pop, rock, and country songs or by those artists. There are so many wonderful gospel songs though. You're right on that. Have a good weekend. Anthony - Although I didn't put it on this playlist, I'll keep it in mind for others. I appreciate the suggestion.
Joanna - Absolutely! Excellent suggestion! Thanks for the addition. Have an awesome weekend. This is one of very few mainstream rock songs that have ever mentioned faith Please add it to your list! Anthony, Thank you for sharing your family connection to George Michael and your thoughts on God and music. Some of the most beautiful music I've heard has been from some of the country singers singing spiritual music. I hope you have a chance to explore some of the songs of all genres that aren't familiar to you. I'm sure you'll find some new ones you like.
A lot of my own aunties and families also had Greek restarants in north london and still do. Some of them knew George's dad. Not heard a lot of them songs you mentioned, but going to listen to them when i get the chance. I was just looking up what the word "psalm" means. Basically it means "Praise" "Praise God in spite of any situation" Reason being, if God wanted to, he has the power to change any situation we find ourselves in, but in most cases, the best way to grow, is to grow despite our circumstances, it's the circumstances that God allows that makes us grow.
A lot of people struggle finding adequate words to express their heart's to God, therefore music finds its highest expression and purpose when used as a tool to extoll the Greatness of God. It can console, encourage, teach, even admonish those who are away from God.