In a world where social injustice plagues millions everyday, sometimes music is the only tool that gives people hope.
With poverty, genocide, war, racism, sexism, classism, and prejudice of all calibers dividing our world into a place of inequality, GlobalGrind decided to round up the 12 best protest songs of all time.
Artists in all genres have spoken up and out about social injustices not only here in America, but also the injustices in countries all over the world.
Check out the 12 best protest songs of all time below!
John Lennon "Imagine" - John Lennon referred to this song as being "anti-capitalistic," "anti-religious," "anti-nationalist" song. Surprisingly, a song with such a strong message was widely accepted.
Mahalia Jackson (version) "We Shall Overcome"- Derived from the gospel song "I'll Overcome Someday," "We Shall Overcome" was the premiere anthem for African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.
Pearl Jam "World Wide Suicide"- Pearl Jams' "World Wide Suicide" was a protest against operation Iraqi Freedom and the war in Iraq. "World Wide Suicide" is also very critical of the U.S. Government and at then President George W. Bush.
Kanye West "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" - Kanye West's "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" was a protest against people buying "Conflict Diamonds." Children in West African mining countries were being killed over these "conflict diamonds" in civil wars.
N.W.A. "F*ck The Police"- N.W.A. burst onto the music scene with a controversial song that was a protest against racial profiling across the nation, but particularly in their hometown of Los Angeles.
M.I.A. "Born Free"- M.I.A.'s "Born Free" video was seen as violent and controversial. The video featured ginger-haired children who were being killed for their appearance, what some people overlooked was "Born Free" isn't about red-headed children, it's about the civil war going on in Sri Lanka.
Marvin Gaye "What's Going On"- Marvin Gaye's smash hit "What's Going On" was a direct response and protest to the Vietnam War. Marvin Gaye spoke out and "What's Going On" has gone down in history.
Bruce Springsteen "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times & Live" - Bruce Springsteen revamped the 1929 song "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live" with his own perspective. The song was a direct response to the U.S. Government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005.
Edwin Star "War"- "War" is probably one of the most popular protest songs of all time. Edwin Star made "War" the most infamous anti-war song ever.
Public Enemy "Fight The Power"- In a time when racial profiling and police brutality against the black community were at an all time high, rap group Public Enemy turned up the protest against racism and police brutality with "Fight The Power."
James Brown "Say It Loud, I'm Black And I'm Proud"- James Brown produced one of the most controversial yet inspiring songs in soul music. "Say It Loud, I'm Black And I'm Proud" came at a time where racism and civil rights issues were plaguing the progression of America. To bring up the morale and address the prejudices against the black community, James Brown kicked out this tune.
Dixie Chicks "Traveling Soldiers" - Dixie Chicks were once America's sweethearts. Kicking out hit country tunes, the Dixie Chicks caused a divide in country music when they released their anti-Iraq War/anti-Bush song "Traveling Soldiers." But backlash came soon after, pegging the girls as anti-American and anti-U.S. soldiers. The ladies denied those claims, but the damage had been done.