Activism

Sixteen Songs by Denver Musicians That Confront Police Violence

Bianca Mikahn is a master of social-justice lyricism who writes straight from the gut.
Bianca Mikahn is a master of social-justice lyricism who writes straight from the gut. Kenneth Hamblin III
From rappers to punks to rockers, Denver musicians have confronted police violence and white supremacy for years — some with anger, some with hate, some with grief and some with love. Just like the people taking over the streets demanding justice for the murder of George Floyd and an end to government violence, these artists represent a variety of identities and attitudes toward cops, from abolitionists to reformers.

Below is a small sampling of the many songs from local artists challenging police violence.


"Beautiful"
Lane-O

In a brutal world where people are murdered by cops, Lane-O offers a message of love and redemption. If you're feeling like racism and social inequity are turning your heart into a callus, "Beautiful" is the right song to put on. Yes, it acknowledges life's horrors, but its message is simple: Love yourself and love others.


BHM
Wicjones

BHM is a hip-hop compilation celebrating Black History Month in 2018. Put together by producer Chris "Wicjones" Jones, the album went largely under the radar. It's time to bring it back. Loaded with inspirational music from Denver rap luminaries Jay Triiiple, Chy Reco, Lo Pez, Taurean, Pries, Connor Ray and Toussaint Lorenz, this is a must-listen-to black-power record that takes on police violence. Spin it and be inspired.


"Blue Lies"
Barking Mad

The throwback punk band Barking Mad bites back at violent cops, taking a chunk out of the Blue Lives Matter movement that attempted to hijack Black Lives Matter. "Blue Lies" is a rage-filled street-punk record, the kind sure to prod you toward the streets.

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris