With black community frustrations boiling up in the form of Black Lives Matter, the music community responded throughout 2016 — and the revolution was televised. With freedom anthems like Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" serving as the backbone to this crusade, these were some flashpoint moments.
Beyoncé at the Super Bowl
February 7, 2016
Paying homage to the Black Panthers' 50th anniversary, as well as black feminism, Beyoncé's halftime Super Bowl performance unapologetically echoed the political statements made in her "Formation" video (excessive police force, economic divide and racism), closing out with a Black Power salute.
Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys
February 15, 2016
Emerging shackled and chained, Kendrick Lamar's Grammy performance was a roaring denouncement of the prison-industrial complex and racial inequality. Using a medley of "The Blacker the Berry" and "Alright," Kendrick emphasized the need to break through societal chains and fight for freedom.
Killer Mike Endorses Bernie Sanders
June 29, 2016
Throughout 2016, Killer Mike became Bernie Sanders' biggest celebrity endorser, optimistically championing for Sanders' polices, and calling on the black community, as well as his fellow rap peers, to stand behind the U.S. presidential candidate.
Snoop Dogg and the Game Unite at Black Lives Matter March in L.A.
July 8, 2016
Days before the L.A. riots in 1992, rival street gangs from the Watts community came together to declare a truce and ceasefire. Nearly 25 years later, history repeated itself as the Game and Snoop Dogg united gang members to march through Los Angeles demanding justice and equality.
Dave Chappelle and A Tribe Called Quest on Saturday Night Live
November 12, 2016
Following the U.S. presidential election, Dave Chappelle's hosting duties of Saturday Night Live quickly turned political in his opening monologue, denouncing racism, police violence and Islamophobia, which were echoed as A Tribe Called Quest performed the uniting anthem, "We the People."