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5 Artists Fighting Injustice to Look Out for at The Meadows Festival

Image: Courtesy De La Soul

The Meadows Music & Arts Festival is returning to New York’s Citi Field Sept. 14-16 with a lineup that’s just as packed as last year.

For three days, the festival is bringing together legends like Nas, Gorillaz, Erykah Badu, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, alongside rising stars like Migos, Blood Orange, and Public Access TV.

Global Citizen’s campaigning is fueled in part by music activism. This year’s Global Citizen Festival brings together musicians and leaders to advocate for an end to extreme poverty.

The Meadows has its own slate of activists whose work inspires fans to take actions against some of the world’s most pressing problems

Here are five activist musicians and groups to look for at The Meadows.  

Jay Z

Jay Z.jpg

Few artists are as globally engaged as Jay Z. The multi-platinum hip-hop star has headlined Global Citizen festivals in New York and Mumbai, and has supported more than 60 causes throughout his illustrious career. From advocating against police brutality to funding education initiatives to supporting global calls for water and sanitation, Jay Z seems to become more of an advocate as each year passes.  

Read More: How Jay Z Channels His Powerful Music Into Action

De La Soul

For more than three decades, the trio known as De La Soul have used their platform as artists to speak out against inequality and injustice. Last year, the group joined Global Citizen for a Get Out the Vote event in Columbus Ohio and they had this to say:

“We are a group that has been blessed to travel," De La Soul told Global Citizen. "We are a group that has been to Syria and met people there and saw how beautiful it was and then just several months later we saw that these beautiful places are now gone. So understanding the importance of everyone being able to have a life that is safe from terrorism [is important.]”

Read More: Hip-Hop Legends De La Soul, D.R.A.M. Unite with Locals in Ohio to #ShowupVote

Run the Jewels

The hip-hop duo Killer Mike and El-P have always wrote songs that explored social issues, but they really launched into the political fray when Bernie Sanders announced his run for presidency in 2015. Since then, Killer Mike has been consistently vocal about women’s rights, healthcare, the environment, and other issues.

Read More: Killer Mike's advice on how young people can fight injustice


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M.I.A. is unafraid to spark controversy. She bluntly confronts power in her art and has no problem challenging injustice in public. In 2015, her song “Borders” deconstructed the very idea of borders and the divisions they create and the accompanying music video was a sharp indictment of how wealthy countries are responding to the global refugee crisis.   

Read More: This incredible music video by M.I.A is asking all the right questions about the refugee crisis

Swet Shop Boys

The Swet Shops Boys’ Riz Ahmed has brought attention to the prejudice within the entertainment industry, most notably in a long-form piece he wrote for The Guardian. For years, he felt boxed into roles that were defined by his Middle Eastern name and appearance. Today, he uses his prominence to fight against injustice in all its forms. In recent years, he’s lent his voice to raising funds for Syrian refugees.

Read More: ‘Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)’ Might Already Be the Music Video of the Year