Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Rise Above’ By Ibeyi (Featuring Berwyn)
Originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music.
The second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd was May 25, and sadly nothing has really changed. Racially motivated killings and cops murdering black people still occur frequently.
To comment on this issue, twin sisters Naomi and Lisa Diaz of the Cuban-Venezuelan duo Ibeyi reworked Black Flag’s 1981 classic hardcore punk anthem “Rise Above.”
It appeared on their recent album, “Spell 31,” and Trinidad rapper Berwyn added a verse that pays tribute to Floyd.
“Berwyn is on this track,” Naomi shared. “He listened to it, and he did his verse really fast. For him, listening to this song made him think of George Floyd, and it’s beautiful.”
“I think the thing is, with this song, you can think about everything. It could be for women. It could be for minorities. It’s a song for the oppressed. It could be something small or something really big, but I think this song is just empowering,” Naomi added.
The song is empowering. The lyrics, “We are tired of your abuse. Try to stop us; but it’s no use,” still hold as much impact as they did when Black Flag recorded them. And Ibeyi’s reworking delivers a galvanizing message to stand against oppression.