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Rihanna’s New Video is About Disillusionment with the American Dream

The video for “American Oxygen” features footage from Ferguson and Occupy Wall Street.

Just last week, GOOD columnist Kasai Rex wrote a moving piece about why loving America is a complicated process for some Americans, particularly those who find themselves in the margins of mainstream American narratives. Should Kasai’s points be synthesized into a song and a music video, the endeavor might birth something akin to Rihanna’s new video for “American Oxygen,” a politically charged ode to the U.S. that features footage from Occupy Wall Street, Ferguson and 9/11.

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Did Sam Smith rip off Tom Petty's 1989 hit “I Won't Back Down”? Released last April, Smith's track “Stay With Me” immediately caught the ear of those in the music industry who believed that he certainly did. And the British singer seems to agree, as it was just reported that he's agreed to not only pay royalties to Tom Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne, but give them co-writing credits as well. Check out the songs below to judge for yourself, as well as several other famous songs that have also been accused of plagiarism.

Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” vs. Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s “I Won’t Back Down”

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3 Examples That Prove Music Videos Can Be Powerful Forces for Change

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra accompanies her folk-blues songs with powerful images that help further her passion for social justice and female empowerment.

Photo by Joshua Shoemaker

Whether it’s a heartbreaking reflection on violence plaguing their hometown of New Orleans or a slow burn anthem about hopping fences with a forbidden love, Hurray for the Riff Raff’s unpretentious songs always feel genuine. Perhaps that’s why when lead singer and founder Alynda Lee Segarra pens thoughtful lyrics about racism, sexism, and violence towards women, the results are often a heartfelt call to action.

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