Published May 14, 2023, 9:20 a.m. by Violet Harris
It’s no secret that music and politics have always been intertwined. From the early days of rock and roll to the present, musicians have used their platform to speak out on the issues that matter to them.
Nowhere is this more evident than on Saturday Night Live. For over 40 years, snl has been pushing the envelope and tackling tough topics with its satirical take on the news. And music has always played a big role in the show, whether it’s through the iconic opening theme song or the many musical performances that take place throughout each episode.
Over the years, snl has featured some of the biggest names in music, and they’ve used their platform to speak out on a variety of political issues. From social injustice to gun violence, these artists have used their voice to raise awareness and start important conversations.
In recent years, snl has become even more political, and the show’s musical guests have followed suit. In 2016, Beyoncé performed her powerful song “Formation” just days after releasing the music video, which addressed police brutality and racial inequality. The following year, Jay-Z took the stage to perform his song “The Story of O.J.”, which addressed the issue of racism in America.
And in 2018, Childish Gambino performed his song “This Is America”, which tackled a variety of social issues including gun violence, racism, and police brutality. The powerful performance sent a clear message that these issues are still very relevant in today’s society.
With the 2020 presidential election right around the corner, it’s safe to say that we can expect even more political commentary from snl’s musical guests. In a time where the country is divided on so many issues, music can be a powerful tool to start important conversations and make people think about the world around them.
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>> IT'S NEW YORK CITY AND THE BROADWAY.
BUT WHY NOT GO OFF-BROADWAY, WHERE THEY'RE NOT AFRAID TO GO
THERE. INTRODUCING "DIVIDED WE STAND,"
A MUSICAL NOT FRAYED TO GO HEAD FIRST INTO OUR POLITICAL
CLIMATE. >> I MEAN NO GOOD.
AMERICAN DREAM? >> IN A SHOW THAT CAN ONLY BE
DESCRIBED AS DEFINITELY WRITTEN BY THE ACTORS.
♪ I'M FINALLY ON MY WAY BEING THE CRADLE OF AMERICA
AND HELLO BROADWAY ♪♪♪ "TIME-OUT" NEW YORK CALLS IT
DANGEROUSLY OVERSIMPLIFIED AND LITERALLY HELPING NO ONE.
♪ BIRTH CONTROL, BIRTH CONTROL, IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTROL
I NEED ANOTHER CUP COFFEE ♪♪♪ >> I GUESS THE WORST PART OF THE
PLAY WAS THEIR CONFIDENCE IN IT. [ LAUGHTER ]
♪ ME TOO, ME TOO, AND YOU AND YOU AND YOU ♪
IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US, HOW DO YOU DO
ME TOO, ME TOO ♪♪♪ >> JESUS CHRIST SAYS "THE NEW
YORK TIMES," AND I DON'T NEED TO TELL YOU THE CAST WAS ALL WHITE.
>> WE WENT AROUND THE CAST LIST AND WHAT MADE THEM DIVERSE AND
ONE PERSON SAID, PARENTS DIVORCED.
>> ALL OF THE VIOLENCE ON THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA!
LIKE WE READ WIKIPEDIA! AND TO HELL WITH POLLUTION!
WHAT'S NEXT, REPRINT THE CONSTITUTION!
>> PLAYBILL.COM WRITES -- I WAS WONDERING WHY ONE GUY HAD THREE
SEPARATE RAPS AND THEN I REALIZED HE WAS THE DIRECTOR.
♪ I AM THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND THERE'S NO WAY YOU'RE
GETTING INTO ME ♪♪♪ >> UM, I THINK THIS MIGHT DO IT
FOR US. >> YOU'LL WALK AWAY WONDERING
WHOSE PARENTS PAID FOR THIS. ♪♪♪
♪ SURE WE CAN CAST A BALLOT AND WE CAN GO TO THE POLLS
BUT WHAT IF WE JUST SANG WE DON'T HAVE TO DO A THING BUT
SING ♪♪♪ >> I THINK THAT LAST SONG WAS
TELLING US NOT TO VOTE. >> NOW PLAYING AT THE
MARISKA HARGITAY THEATER. TICKETS ARE $140?
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