In the words of FEVER 333’s Jason Butler, “Black music is rock music.” AltPress wouldn’t exist without the contributions from black artists who inadvertently paved the way for rock ’n’ roll, which was derived from rhythm and blues.
Today, we want to celebrate black artists who are keeping punk, rock and indie alive and stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. It’s important to celebrate black artists today and every day, so here are 10 tracks to get you started.
Drug Couple – “No Outside”
Brooklyn-based duo Drug Couple released two singles from their forthcoming EP, including “No Outside” and “Alone 2gether.” The two tracks are mellow meditations driven by soothing voices and laid-back guitar strums inspired by life in quarantine. You can stream their sophomore EP, Choose Your Own Apocalypse, in August. In Feburary, the couple also shared “PROTEST SONG,” where they sampled speeches from Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. to enhance their message about racial injustice. This track could very well be the next anthem to your next march with its vital lyrics.
Rebelmatic – “Insult To Injury”
New York hardcore outfit Rebelmatic released their timely track “Insult To Injury” with an accompanying music video from their forthcoming EP, Ghost In The Shadows. Urgent vocals and chaotic riffs perfectly supplement the message of the track. “This song is about the protests and anger of so many who have experienced or witnessed brutality and terror at the hands of those who are supposed to protect you,” frontman Creature says. “The late Great Audre Lorde said it best: ‘Your silence will not protect you.’” They’re also are the first band signed to Taking Back Sunday drummer Mark O’Connell and producer Daniel Wallace’s Red Right Recordings. The band also hope listeners consider donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund in support of Black Lives Matter.
Terrace Martin – “Pig Feet” (feat. Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico and Daylyt)
“This video is happening right outside your window,” is the quote that opens up Terrace Martin’s new song “Pig Feet” featuring Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico and Daylyt. Backed by Martin and Washington, the three rappers go in on police brutality, racism and the systemic injustice that the black community faces daily. In the video, no recording was needed as social media and news clips yielded everything necessary to convey the message. In it, you can see police officers mace peaceful protesters, officers arrest media professionals for no reason and streets in a haze due to tear gas. For nearly three minutes, the video silently scrolls the names of all those lives lost due to police brutality.
Ty Dolla $ign – “You See It” (feat. Skrillex)
Ty Dolla $ign and Skrillex released a short but meaningful music video detailing the need for change. The powerful lyrics share the idea that everyone sees the violence happening via news and Twitter videos. In fact, we have seen violence well before this era of protests. Many people “see it,” but many people do not speak of it. Resources for how to help Black Lives Matter are listed at the bottom of the page.
I Prevail – “DOA” (feat. Joyner Lucas)
I Prevail invited Joyner Lucas to reimagine their track “DOA” from their 2019 album, TRAUMA. The artists released a moving video exposing American hypocrisies such as constantly filming brutality but not stepping in, using military-grade weapons to maintain peace and other strong messages. Fans of all genres will appreciate the visuals, while metal, rock and rap die-hards will love the combination of quick-paced rhymes, heavy riffs and compelling, guttural screams.
Jany Green – “Little”
Jany Green offers lighthearted jazz and pop in his summery new track, “Little.” His smooth voice, bright indie guitar chords and horns will offer listeners a pocket of sunshine in these dark times. This track follows Green’s other singles, including “Suffocate,” “Call My Parents” and “City Lights.”
WizTheMC – “For A Minute”
Blending surf-rock guitar and elements of indie, funk and hip-hop, WizTheMC crafts a catchy, energetic tune in “For A Minute.” The artist shot the entire music video from quaratine and edited in multiple version of himself throughout the scene. His music is reminiscent of indie artists such as Dominic Fike and ROLE MODEL. “For A Minute” is the first release since his 2020 EP, Growing Teeth.
Sleepy Hallow – “6am In NY”
Sleepy Hallow recently shared his brand-new album, Sleepy Hallow Presents: Sleepy For President. Listeners can hear his hit single “Deep End Freestyle” featuring Fousheé along with other tracks including “6am In NY.” The rapper explores the idea that some people want access to you just because of money. “Money make ’em change, they ain’t the same,” he says in this song.
RIMON – “I Shine, U Shine” (feat. Darrell Cole)
Singer-songwriter RIMON offers rich vocals on her recently released EP, I Shine, U Shine. The title track featuring Darrell Cole blends soul and rap influences with laid-back beats and key melodies. This flowy EP combines a myriad of influences across its six tracks, which will make you melt into its sound.
Meet Me @ The Altar – “Garden”
Meet Me @ The Altar hail from New Jersey, Georgia and Florida and comprise a trio of women of color who are keeping nostalgic pop punk alive. Their most recent release “Garden” has received praise from the likes of All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth and Dan Campbell from the Wonder Years. The group have an undeniable energy that’s truly infectious. Though they can’t tour, the band hope to hit many cities once venues reopen. Until then, keep moshing in your rooms to this group on the rise.
To show support through donations, connect with grassroots campaigns and obtain resources for allies, please refer to the links below.
To sign petitions for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more, click here.
Donate to one or more community bail funds for protesters here.
Click here for more resources for protestors including pro-bono lawyers.
Visit Movement For Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause.
Click here to connect with leaders building grassroots campaigns.
Here are some anti-racism resources for allies who want to learn more.
For other ways to donate, please head here.