Take A Stand: The Most Influential Songs of 2014

2014 was a year filled with a lot of feel-good party records. There’s obviously nothing wrong with party music, but music with a message also deserves a platform. Thankfully, some artists used their voices to shed light on important social issues. 

Beyonce‘s anthem, “Pretty Hurts,” is a song written in order to empower women. The ‘anti-surgery‘ record deals with the negative stereotypes women take on in order to look beautiful. Beyonce’s message is clear; we all have flaws, we are all different, but we should embrace our flaws and uniqueness. Beauty is only skin deep, and a woman’s self-worth should not be solely based on her appearance. Plastic surgery only fixes someone’s outer issues. Until they address their inner issues, they will never be fulfilled. These lyrics speak volumes: Pretty hurts / shine the light on whatever’s worse / perfection is the disease of a nation / pretty hurts / pretty hurts. This song sends a very powerful message about self-love, self-worth, and self-respect. 

Hip-Hop superstar, The Game, enlisted the help of Rick Ross, Fabolous, Diddy, and 2 Chainz in a heartfelt message about the tragic death of Mike Brown. “Don’t Shoot” deals with police brutality, and the racial injustice black men face in society. The song also features Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beats, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh, and TGT. “Don’t Shoot” also addresses the on-going racial tensions and disconnect between police officers and African American males. This song has a brilliant way of bringing awareness to race-related issues.

YouTube sensation Matty B tackled the importance of putting an end to bullying. The 11-year-old rapper’s sister, Sarah Grace, has Down’s Syndrome. Matty B’s song, “True Colors,” is centered around the fact that Sarah Grace has a hard time fitting in because of her mental disability. Unfortunately, she gets teased on a daily basis by bullies. Matty B confidently raps about accepting people’s differences, and standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Through education and acceptance, we will be able to conquer the bully epidemic.

I applaud all of these artists for taking a stand. More power to all of them. I strongly encourage more artists to make socially conscious music. Music is the universal language, and we should positively take advantage of its influence.