Lately I’ve been feeling nostalgic and digging through a lot of old photos, reminiscing about a lot of things. I’ve also been obsessing over the lack of powerful, socially relevant music that exists right now. Today I came across this photo of my uncles and cousins and I outside of Alice Cooper’s Cooperstown restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona from back in 2010. The restaurant closed back in 2017 after 18 year in business but coincidentally I was just reminded of Alice Cooper as I was watching 1971. We were all there to see Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on his The Wall Live tour. The show was incredible and it gave me an entirely new appreciation for Pink Floyd, the art of storytelling in music, and the importance of music in driving cultural awareness to injustices in society.
For the past 6-7 years I’ve been disappointed by the lack of anger, rage, and sadness I hear in music. To me, there has never been a time where people need the voice of musicians to inspire action. It’s entirely possible I’m just missing the artists shedding light on injustices through their work, but it feels like when Nipsey Hussle was killed, the world of music fell into a deep hole of complacency. For a moment, it seemed as if the return of Rage Against The Machine would kick off a new era of stickittothemanneosis, but the pandemic quickly put a stop to that. I thought that maybe I was glorifying my teenage years of listening to Public Enemy, Rage, Tupac, etc., but then I started watching this show on Apple TV.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything really reiterated how desperately society needs musicians to lead the voice of resistance to the status quo. It shows how powerful just handful of people can be in shedding light on injustice and inspiring people speak their truth, even in the face of oppression, corruption, and hatred.