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Protest Song of the Week: ‘Dissatisfaction Suite’ by The Whistleblowers

A new band, The Whistleblowers, from Brooklyn recently released their first EP, which consists entirely of protest music. They describe themselves as a project “born out of a vacuum of socially conscious music.”

The song from their album, “Imaginary Lines,” which is Shadowproof’s “Protest Song of the Week,” is a collaboration with another artist, Kala and the Lost Tribe. It is called “Dissatisfaction Suite.” It mentions wars, police violence, and attacks on whistleblowers while suggesting the masses can rise up and do something about it.

Trumpet and organ nicely punctuates the lyrics. The band sings, “Won’t you/Put your/Money where your mouth is/You say/Je suis/Charlie/But what about Ed Snowden?” They go on to add, “Chelsea/Manning/Not everybody has forgotten/Same old/Story/When is real change gonna happen?”

The chorus is a mostly standard articulation of the need for people to demand more. The band says, “It’s time to kick in the door,” and, “There’s power in our numbers/But only if we stand together.”

In the second verse, the police violence in Ferguson and Staten Island is connected to the plight of Palestinians in Gaza. The U.S. drone strikes killing civilians in Pakistan and Yemen are implicated too in protest against war.

Kala and the Lost Tribe comes in after the chorus is repeated and delivers a strong rhyme against “Earth plunderers” as well as xenophobia and homophobia in the world. She suggests those perpetrating injustice would call her a terrorist for “the way I’m dropping bombs in the booth/But see, even that right there is slander/The real pursuers of terror/Empty clips and reload while I got my hands up.”

The passion for music that speaks truth to power is self-evident. The band’s influences—Rage Against the Machine, Fela Kuti, Public Enemy, and Immortal Technique—can be heard in this particular track.

The band knows how to amplify the power of their music by incorporating sections of jamming. Some of the sections of jamming are clearly inspired by Rage Against the Machine. Members create a good blend of punk, funk, hip-hop, and even slight bits of Afrobeat music that acts as a strong backbone for messages aimed at calling out injustice and agitating people to take more action.

Listen to The Whistleblowers’ “Dissatisfaction Suite” over at Bandcamp here.


Are you an independent artist who has written and/or produced a protest song that you would like featured? Or do you have a favorite protest song? Submit a song to protestmusic@Shadowproof.com

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."