Politics and popular music go hand in hand.

For instance, you have the economic and racial hardships of early 20th century blues, the anti-war protests of ‘60s folk and the anti-colonialist outlook of ‘70s and ‘80s reggae. Plus, some genres – such as punk and hip-hop – are intrinsically political.

Rock and metal are no exceptions, as the last half-century or so has spawned dozens of groups who’ve examined modern issues and historical precedents. Even when their fans and critics tell them to shut up and entertain, they stick to their guns and spread their viewpoints.

In fact, it’s virtually impossible to separate the music and messages of the 16 artists featured here, as their bold sentiments are routinely baked into their sights, sounds and ancillary activities.

Have you been paying attention?

16 of the Most Political Rock + Metal Bands

Outspoken artists championing causes!

20 Artists Who Told Politicians to Stop Using Their Music

Politicians are consistently using songs by bands without their permission, and these artists had enough of it.

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