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.
Write to Raisa Bruner at email@example.com.
"Tiny Hands," Fiona Apple
"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$$
"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
"Smoke 'em Out," CocoRosie feat. ANOHNIE
"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
"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.