Music Monday – Free Your Mind

It’s the holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday so this week’s Music Monday is overcoming prejudice.  Anyone with half a brain could write about the problems that exist in the world between people of different races so I won’t spend much time on this.  I’ll just say that we’ll never completely overcome racism and prejudice.  As long as people look and sound different, come from different backgrounds, etc., there will always be people who dislike them.  As a society, though, we have made great strides in squashing it.  As a society, we have become and continue to become less tolerant of those who are racist, sexist, etc.  That being said, on with the music…

Free Your Mind by En Vogue
(released 1992; peaked #8 US Hot 100, #12 New Zealand, #13 US Pop, #15 Netherlands, #16 UK, #19 Canada)

Why oh why must it be this way?
Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me, I said
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow… FREE YOUR MIND!

This song is easily my favorite by En Vogue.  It has a great beat and the vocals are outstanding, tinged with anger, but not quite shouted.  The lyrics are very pointed, as well, challenging stereotypes and asking the listener to see the person, not just the color.

I Believe by Blessid Union of Souls
(released 1995; peaked #8 US Hot 100, #2 US Pop, #5 US Adult Contemporary, #6 Canada, #7 New Zealand)

I’ve been seeing Lisa now for a little over a year
She said she’s never been so happy but Lisa lives in fear
That one day daddy’s gonna find out she’s in love
With a nigger from the streets
Oh, how he would lose it then, but she’s still here with me
‘Cause she believes that love will see it through
And one day he’ll understand
And he’ll see me as a person, not just a black man

A well written song about overcoming social issues.

The King by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five
(released 1988; not released as a single)

We have to bring the whites to the black man’s side
walk hand in hand and show we have black pride

This song begins with King’s “Dream” speech and then rolls into Grandmaster Flash’s verses.

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