Great Music That Embodies Ethical Values

Music is a universal language and a medium for communication.

It has the power to conjure emotions, memories, experiences, thoughts, and can be used to express a mood or even convey a message.

From intimate moments to the grandest celebration, music can transport listeners to another dimension.

It is both a tool to communicate and a form of expression. As a human being, I cannot imagine living life without music. I would have a terrible time choosing what to listen to, because every song I hear either takes me to a different time, place, feeling, or experience.

It is not uncommon for music to carry political or ethical messages, and artists take on these themes with gusto. From Tupac Shakur's "Thug Passion" to the Punk March Against Police Brutality in Oakland, California, music speaks louder than words.

Here are a few artists that advocate social issues through their music and have been rightfully recognized for their contributions to human rights:

The Beatles

Music That Embodies Ethical Values

Although it is commonly believed that The Beatles broke ground in the music industry for producing psychedelic music, their music has always been rooted in and rooted in the fight for justice, equality, and peace.

These groups have challenged the status quo and achieved success by exposing their cultural, political, and social messages through their music.

These artists stand up for their beliefs and bring light to issues that often go unnoticed. Their music has the power to change lives and shape generations.

Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys’ 1992 album Licensed to Ill was their first album, and it is often referred to as the "discovery" of rap and hip-hop.

After releasing several different mixtapes, the group collaborated with DJ Ron G and Tim Malloy to make the album. The album used a distinct mixture of hip-hop and punk music that is still considered groundbreaking today.

The Beastie Boys were just under twenty years old when they released the album, but in 1992 they have a Grammy award under their belt, and they were one of the first hip-hop groups to perform on Saturday Night Live.

They called their music "hip-hop punk rock," or just "punk rock," and you can hear that through every single track on Licensed to Ill.

The group continues to support social justice issues by protesting against police brutality in their song “Paul Revere.” In their album Paul’s Boutique, the group mocks the hip-hop scene of the 80's and pays homage to the Talking Heads, which they were known to listen to while creating their new sound.

The band was even recognized with the "Triumph of the Will" award, which was voted by the public for the best song to advocate for change.

Patti Smith

Music That Embodies Ethical Values

Smith, along with her guitar, has been recognized for her roles as an activist and symbol of alternative music. Smith has been a consistent figure of the alternative scene throughout her 40 year career.

For someone who released one of the first ever rock albums in 1971, she has performed on Letterman, on Modern Living, and on many other nationally televised shows.

The album that introduced her to the world was Horses, which her mother gave her to listen to after her divorce, and in it, she explored the freedom she felt through expression of her emotions through her guitar.

The song "Gloria," was about her tumultuous relationship with a former partner and mother of her son.

In 1971, Smith also performed on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, in which she was the only person to have been asked to do so.

Through her music, she champions equality and support for the LGBT community, and she even calls President Barack Obama her "favorite rock star."

Recently, Smith has been touring with her latest album M Train, and is garnering positive reviews.

Bruce Springsteen

Before Springsteen gained fame in the 1970s, he was a musician for the Boss-owned Asbury Park, New Jersey rock band, The Heartbreakers.

The band gained fame with the 1975 release of their debut album, The Heartbreakers, which was produced by Ahmet Ertegun. When The Boss joined the band, they performed many gigs all over the East Coast, but he also met Patti Scialfa.

Scialfa is a singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist, and she and the Boss have been married for 37 years and have three children.

Springsteen has been praised for his book Born To Run, which chronicles the life of his hometown, and his relationship with Scialfa and his family.

Scialfa has performed with the E Street Band since 1972. Her guitar and vocals have been featured on Springsteen’s records, and her influence on Springsteen’s career is extensive.

Rage Against the Machine

Music That Embodies Ethical Values

Rage Against the Machine is a band that is famous for bringing a political element into the music scene, and making rockers sound like activists.

"The only voice that counts is the voice of the people," is the phrase that the trio adopted as their signature song on their debut album, and it has become the band's anthem. The band was formed in Los Angeles by vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk.

They started performing with their music video for the song "Killing in the Name" in 1993, and in 1995, they released their sophomore album, Evil Empire. The album had mainstream success with the single "Killing in the Name," which went platinum in the US.

After disbanding in 1997, the group reunited in 2007, and has since released a number of albums including Guerilla Radio (2011) and Liberation Radio (2016).


In his late teens, GZA was studying physics in college, but music was his passion. He dropped out and moved to Chicago, where he focused on his music career.

GZA was born William Bruce Scialfa, and he is one of the founding members of the renowned Wu-Tang Clan. One of the most influential groups in rap history, the group is comprised of nine musicians, and GZA is the only one who chose not to change his name after joining the group.

GZA is known for his poetry and dark lyrics, often aimed at government officials and social issues. He won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for his 2002 song "Liquid Swords," and was also nominated for Best Rap Album for 1996’s The Genius of J. Dilla.

For more than 30 years, GZA has performed in some of the largest venues in the world. He released his solo album The Mind of Genius in 2016, and has received a lifetime achievement award from the Independent Music Awards.

Erykah Badu

Known as the "Queen of Tribe" for her funky and soulful music, Erykah Badu has often been tagged as one of the most "unique" performers in music. Her music is also influenced by jazz, world music, and hip-hop.

Born on November 12, 1974 in Houston, Texas, Badu grew up in Oakland, California, where she began her career as a singer. Her father is a minister, and she often performs with him on stage.

Her first album, Baduizm, was released in 1997, and it was so successful that it won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album. In 2002, she released m.A.A.d city, which was a commercial success, and it yielded three singles, including the platinum-selling hit, "On & On."

She also won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "On & On."

Etta James

The legendary singer, Etta James, was considered the queen of jazz music at the height of her career.

James was born on October 24, 1935, in Louisiana, but she spent her childhood in East St. Louis, Illinois, where she learned to play piano. She joined her family's band in high school, and began performing at parties and on the street.

She began recording in 1955, and released her first record in 1956. The album was called "Four Women," and it was self-titled. After signing a recording contract with Cadence

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