Election Day is finally here! There were seemingly endless months of commentary, satire, parodies and intense arguments with loved ones that made it seem like you were choosing sides for the American Civil War instead of a president. But that’s over, because today We The People cast our ballots for red, blue, green or Honey Boo Boo! Stave off that voting postpartum with five politically charged music videos that celebrate your new-found surge of political empowerment – which, let’s be honest, will go hibernate the next two to four years in some of us.
The 2003 chart-topper crossed B.E.P. over into the pop world and introduced us to Fergie. But The Black Eyed Peas didn’t just milk their new level of fame. They used the popularity of the hit to address global social injustices like war, pollution and intolerance in the music video.
“Testify” reaches that it-all-sounds-the-same-so-does-it-really-matter feel as the election wore on this year. Michael Moore directed RATM’s 2000 video, showcasing similarities between then-candidates former President George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore through clever soundbites in which they state the same position on “important issues.” At one point they morph together and speak as one. Still holds up.
Before you heard it as Dave Chappelle’s intro on his short-lived Comedy Central show, this Dead Prez standard was making a political statement in 1999. To accompany their critical lyrics against capitalism and institutional racism among other issues, the video acts almost like a call to arms for the people to take action. It’s bigger than hip hop.
What is known as the “Imagine” video is really only three or so minutes of an 81-minute film to accompany the Imagine album. Though the song itself is anti-religious, anti-nationalistic and anti-capitalistic the sweet lullabye presentation as seen in the serene images of John and Yoko Ono walking through their garden into an all-white room, makes the political pill easier to swallow.
The song and the video came on the heels of controversial statements vocalist Natalie Maines made about President George W. Bush while performing in a concert in London. Three years, album burnings, death threats and the banning of their songs from country music radio later, the trio stood by their comments and sent a message with a music video about the power of freedom of speech.