St. Vincent’s DeJamz: reaching beyond hate and division

(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)
(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

As many are still trying to wrap their heads around the results of last week’s presidential election, it’s certainly been hard for some to accept this new reality of the soon to be President Donald J. Trump.  While some felt sorrow and shocked, others did indeed feel relief and happiness, and though our emotions are certainly vastly different from one another, we are all on the same team.  Whether your candidate won or lost last Tuesday, this country lost a sense of unity nonetheless.

There are those on both sides that feel misrepresented or not represented at all, and whether there is celebration or protest, music is just one of the many ways this country can heal together and come together.  Here are just a few songs that reach beyond hate and division; here are some songs to get you through the next week.

1. “We All Try” – Frank Ocean

After Hurricane Katrina hit Frank Ocean’s home of New Orleans, the rapper was inspired to create his first mixtape, “Nostalgia, Ultra.”  Dropping it without promotion, Ocean’s debut mixtape was one of personal reflection and social commentary on what seemed to be a new America.

The song, “We All Try,” might be the most appropriate in this post-election environment. Ocean reminds us about the good humanity can bring, he sings, “I still believe in man. A wise one asked me why, cause I just don’t believe we’re wicked.”

Ocean’s “Nostalgia, Ultra,” is full of self-reflected songs to listen to in the next few weeks, but his song “We All Try” is one to hold onto for the next four years.

2. “O-o-h Child” – Five Stairsteps

Certainly used countless as a song of healing, Five Stairsteps’ “O-o-h Child” is perhaps one of the most well known uplifting songs of the past 100 years.  Released in 1970, the song has become the signature hit by Chicago soul family group the Five Stairsteps, with over 20 covers produced since its release, ranging from Nina Simone to Hall & Oats.  The lyrics, “things are gonna get easier,” are a nice reminder for many to keep their head up in these next unpredictable four years.

3. “Arthur Theme Song” – Chance the Rapper

Not many television shows or artists can be as optimistic as “Arthur” and Chance the Rapper, so when they mesh you get something kind of wonderful.  Chance the Rapper’s cover of the PBS cartoon series’ theme song will easily bring a smile to your face, whether it be just nostalgia or a reassurance that the future is still bright.  The opening lyrics, “Everyday when you’re walking down the street, and everybody that you meet, has an original point of view,” is a line that we all must accept to start moving forward.

4. “One Love” – Bob Marley and the Wailers 

When we’re talking about unity, it’s hard not to place a Bob Marley song in the list.  While this entire list could be composed of Bob Marley and the Wailers, no song may be better than “One Love/People Get Ready,” as they sing, “Let them all pass all their dirty remarks. There is one question I’d really love to ask, is there a place for the hopeless sinner who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?”