paramore hard times blm cover hayley williams
[Photos via blackstem/YouTube, Paramore/Spotify]

Hear a Paramore fan give “Hard Times” a cathartic reimagining

Amidst the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, various Paramore fans have been showing their support in a number of creative ways. Last week, a fan paid tribute to police brutality victims by reimagining the Riot! album artwork and tracklisting.

Now, another fan is using Paramore’s single “Hard Times” as a way to express herself as protests over the wrongful killing of George Floyd carry on worldwide.

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Over the past few weeks, Paramore have shown their support for Black Lives Matter. The band recently released a statement and announced they are donating $25,000 to Black Lives Matter NashvilleCampaign Zero and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). As well, Hayley Williams handed over her Instagram account to Teens4Equality, an activist group founded by six Nashville-based teenagers.

This past week, Twitter user @theblackstem1 shared her beautiful ukelele cover of “Hard Times” to Williams. As a black artist, she wrote to Williams that the song has served as an outlet for her to express herself during this time.

“Heeyyyy Hayleyy,” she says. “Sorry if this is annoying, but I was wondering if you could check out my cover of ‘Hard Times,’ it was the perfect song to express how I’ve been feeling lately as a BPOC.”

Williams quickly responded to the acoustic “Hard Times” cover on Twitter.

“You just singlehandedly turned ‘Hard Times’ into church,” she tweets.

“Hard Times” was the first single to be released from Paramore’s 2017 album After Laughter. The full “Hard Times” cover is available to watch below.

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Along with this, Williams also handed over her Instagram account to Teens4Equality. Led by six Nashville-based teenage girls, they are the force behind last week’s peaceful protest in Nashville that over 10,000 people participated in. Ages 14 to 16, Teens4Equality is made up of Jade Fuller, Nya Collins, Zee Thomas, Kennedy Green, Emma Rose Smith and Mikayla Smith.

During their Instagram takeover on Williams’ account, however, Teens4Equality faced some backlash from individuals who did not want to see their activism on their timelines. This led to the girls deleting their posts on Williams’ account. Williams took to social media to further show her support for Teens4Equality. She also had all of the deleted posts on her account restored.

“[I] have seen people ask me to delete some posts from TEENS FOR EQUALITY’s Instagram takeover today,” she tweets. “I will not do that. Their passion is pure and earnest, not calculated. Their activism is inspiring! I’m proud of them and youth across the country for learning, educating [and] standing up for BLM.”

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“Lastly,” she says. “The conversation around systemic oppression was never going to be a comfortable one nor is the conversation around police brutality. Nor is the one around white privilege, but the conversation is going to happen. It has to. IT’S OVERDUE.”

To show support through donations, connect with grassroots campaigns and obtain resources for allies, please refer to the links below.

Help the family of George Floyd here.
Fight for Breonna Taylor here.
Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery here.
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.