By Raisa Bruner
January 24, 2017

They say music flourishes in times of protest—and already, a slew of anti-Trump songs have sprung up in the lead-up to his election and inauguration. The President has been widely decried by high-profile recording artists and celebrities; for proof, look to the challenges he had at securing talent to perform for his Inauguration Weekend, or consider the vocal opposition of big-name stars like Katy Perry and Cher.

But plenty of other artists have also been lending their voices to the resistance through song, penning anti-Trump tunes. Here’s a roundup of tracks that can serve as a rallying cry, and a jumping-off point for the protest music to come.


"Tiny Hands," Fiona Apple

“We don’t want your tiny hands anywhere near our underpants,” chants cult favorite Apple on this straightforward battle cry.


"Million Dollar Loan," Death Cab for Cutie

A typically dreamy Death Cab tune, “Million Dollar Loan” almost sounds like a sweet lullaby—until you realize it’s about the alleged loan upon which Trump built his empire. “With brutish charm, the women flock to be on his arm / Because it’s a sign of weakness to apologize,” it goes. This is just one track from the “30 Days, 30 Songs” project, which brought together artists to create protest songs in advance of the election. Given the results of the election, they plan on compiling a 1,000-song playlist in the same vein.


"Land of the Free," Joey Bada$$

Released on Inauguration Day, “Land of the Free” is a biting anti-Trump rap delivered in a smooth package. With lines like “Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over,” its message isn’t subtle—it’s a clear indictment of the new president.

 


"I Give You Power," Arcade Fire feat. Mavis Staples

Released just a day before the inauguration, “I Give You Power” never mentions the president by name. It does, however, repeat: “I give you power / I can take it away / Watch me,” in an eerie call-and-response mantra. “It’s never been more important that we stick together and take care of each other,” the band noted in a tweet promoting the song.


"Locker Room Talk," Cold War Kids

The Cold War Kids come out swinging with a bluesy, indie rock take on Trump’s infamous “locker room talk” comments, plus an indictment for the “hate in your heart,” in another installment in the 30 Days, 30 Songs project.


"Hallelujah Money," Gorillaz feat. Benjamin Clementine

The trippy “Hallelujah Money” is a little more oblique, making references to power, corruption, the KKK, and Trump Tower in an apocalyptic mashup. It’s the first drop from Gorillaz in six years, too—right on the eve of the inauguration.


"Smoke 'em Out," CocoRosie feat. ANOHNIE

In CocoRosie’s own words: “‘Smoke ‘em Out’ welcomes the new character who will be occupying the White House with a mob of women and children armed with forks and knives. In the wake of this unnatural disaster, we feel a call to rise, shout, and burn the house down. The future is female.”


"FDT," YG and Nipsey Hussle

Preluded by nearly a minute of text describing the current American political situation, rappers YG and Nipsey Hussle make an impassioned plea to voters to oppose Trump, saying that they thought he was “a joke” (among plenty of other less-than-PG insults) and sampling some of his comments at a rally. The track trended on Spotify’s viral charts, although it’s no longer available on that service.


"Demagogue," Franz Ferdinand

“He’s a demagogue,” this one goes. “Those tiny vulgar fingers on the nuclear bomb.” Simple yet effective.


"Campaign Speech," Eminem

More a rant than a song, the elusive Detroit rapper’s raw, minimalist “Campaign Speech”—dropped back in October—didn’t shy away from Trump mentions in its seven minutes of searing culture analysis. “Consider me a dangerous man, but you should be afraid of this dang candidate / You say Trump don’t kiss a** like a puppet ’cause he runs his campaign with his own cash for the fundin’ / And that’s what you wanted / A f—kin’ loose cannon who’s blunt with his hand on the button / Who doesn’t have to answer to no one—great idea!” he spits.


"Trump Is On Your Side," Moby and the Homeland Choir

In this ironic—or is it sympathetic?—ballad, Moby considers the psychology of Trump voters. “You’re all alone and filled with fear / the billionaire says what you need to hear,” he sings. “He’s never really worked a day in his life, but he’s on your side.”

 

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