Heavy metal has had its fair share of controversy since its inception in the late 1960s, and despite a few particular incidents (see Phil Anselmo’s public thrashing following last year’s Dimebash event), racism has seldom been at the forefront of its public scorn, instead relegated to subtext in the perpetual focus on generally violent and/or blasphemous statements and imagery.
In a genre where history, sex, the occult, science fiction and defiance of detractors - among several other topics - make up much of the lyrical content, issues pertaining specifically to race are not as prevalent.
The genre has not been without its mouthpieces, though, and as the wake of the 2016 United States Presidential Election has elicited unprecedented reactions from the masses representing both sides of the coin, there will undoubtedly be more in the next four years.
Regardless of how you stand on the topic itself, here are a list of eight songs by artists who hate racially-motivated hate.
Taking aim specifically at the Ku Klux Klan with references to burning crosses and “hiding behind your bed clothes,” No Friend of Mine calls into question the learned behavior of hatred, specifically based on race, its provocation of feelings of superiority and the eventuality of passing these biases on to future generations.
Going further, the song paraphrases the Declaration of Independence in the lines “all men created equal, all have human rights” before acknowledging the seeming futility of such a heated issue.
Despite that, it essentially refers to racial sentiments as archaic, insinuating that the perpetuation of which will ultimately be more destructive than constructive, and the band’s response, even paraphrased, is simple:
If you hate based on skin or race, then you’re no friend of mine.