Martin Had A Dream: The Best MLK Samples And Shout-Outs In Music History

by (@unclegrambo)

7. “A Dream,” Common featuring Will.I.Am

This 2006 song from the Freedom Writers soundtrack samples the most famous King speech of all, “I Have A Dream.” It’s a song that’s rife with struggle and pain but, most importantly, also hope.

8. “Happy Birthday,” Stevie Wonder

Back in 1981, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not yet a national holiday. It seems almost shocking in retrospect, but back then, there was a significant amount of political pushback to dedicating a national holiday to an African-American. Stevie Wonder used his musical abilities to push his line of thought forward, essentially making an argument that no one could argue with. “I just never understood / How a man who died for good / Could not have a day that would / Be set aside for his recognition,” Wonder sang and, just two years later, President Reagan would ultimately find himself agreeing with this statement.