Vic Mensa – “We Could Be Free” featuring Ty Dolla $ign
Vic Mensa’s powerful video explores the current state of the world through the life of one teen and his mother, which was inspired by his own experience growing up on the South Side of Chicago. Mensa doesn’t shy away from standing up for what he believes in, as evidenced by his video’s imagery and lyrics in general. “I think that I’m lucky to have a voice and to have influence, and it’d be irresponsible of me to waste that, so I try to lend my voice to things that matter,” the rapper told AP at Riot Fest 2017.
The 1975 – “Loving Someone”
If you have ever seen the 1975’s live show, then you know it’s full of impressive lighting and imagery. The alt-rock act particularly embrace its use during “Loving Someone” as their backdrop transforms into an LGBTQ-inspired rainbow. Their 2016 London O2 Arena performance was captured for an official live video, which they released on Inauguration Day and tagged Donald Trump. The move made sense following frontman Matt Healy’s emotional speech at the arena where he stated, “The obvious thing is it is very sad to see not just the young, but young progressive voices of change being drowned out by regressive ideals—it is sad.” A few months later, the 1975 partnered with the It Gets Better Project for collaborative merch that included a hoodie inspired by “Loving Someone.”
Set It Off – “Wild Wild World”
Set It Off used their video for “Wild Wild World” to address injustices throughout the world. The band took images of sadness and destruction and mixed them with those of hope, the latter of which included members of Black Veil Brides, PVRIS and As It Is holding signs with uplifting quotes. The band wanted to use the video to inspire change with vocalist Cody Carson saying, “If we can just open our eyes and see each other as brothers and sisters regardless of sexual orientation and race, then we can take a huge leap forward as a human race.”
Andrew W.K. – “Star Party Animal”
Andrew W.K. employed his brand of party rock to make a song about internet personality Lil Bub ahead of the 2014 Animal Planet special. The duo put the track up for preorder, and net proceeds were donated to Lil Bub’s charity of choice.
Laura Jane Grace, Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus – “Androgynous”
Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace and Atom Willard joined forces with Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus for a take on the Replacements’ “Androgynous.” The powerhouse group came together in support of Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation, which aims to aid homeless LGBT youth.
Stick To Your Guns – “Better Ash Than Dust”
In 2016, Stick To Your Guns released a video full of powerful imagery to bring awareness to violence that was breaking out against protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline. When posting the video, the band directed fans to standingrock.org and stated that they along with their team, Pure Noise Records and Good Fight Management, would each donate a dollar per share to the cause.
Panic! At The Disco – “Girls/Girls/Boys”
Brendon Urie bares all in “Girls/Girls/Boys,” and he used the nearly nude moment for good when releasing a director’s cut a few months later. The second version adds two women to the mix as they show affection toward Urie and each other. At the time of release, the band launched a shirt inspired by the track where all proceeds (eventually totaling $35,000) went to the Human Rights Campaign.
Black Veil Brides – “Unbroken”
Back in 2013, Black Veil Brides launched a limited-edition T-shirt in support of October’s National Bullying Prevention Month where proceeds were donated to The Bully Project. The tee featured a line from “Unbroken,” and fans were asked to submit photos of themselves wearing it to be used in a lyric video for the track.
Logic – “1-800-273-8255” featuring Alessia Cara, Khalid
The sole existence of Logic’s track is to bring awareness to suicide prevention as the title is the contact number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The rapper’s emotional video follows a teen struggling to feel accepted for his sexuality. A few weeks after the clip’s release, Logic performed the track with Alessia Cara, Khalid and a group of suicide attempt survivors at the 2017 VMAs. Following the performance, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reported a call increase of 50 percent.