The following is a list of music that you might consider using. I have tried to select tracks that provide avenues for discussion or that can be used to spark creative activities. I have included a link to lyrics wherever possible. Please listen to these yourself to decide what your class could benefit from most. Some are just obviously fun, and a good number have important things to say on challenging, thought-provoking issues. I have not stayed away from so-called “mature” language or topics, because I want to leave it up to teachers to decide how best to acknowledge and respect the day-to-day concerns of their students who already hear about these topics, and perhaps live them, in the course of their daily lives. I hope that we can, through music, challenge students to think critically and truly engage them about what they listen to, why they listen, and what they want to create themselves.
* = Canadian artist
Ham ‘n’ Eggs – A Tribe Called Quest (lyrics)
No Make-up – Kendrick Lamar (lyrics on page)
Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins) – Shad (lyrics) *
Letter to the Free – Common (lyrics)