Remember the recession? A lot of Americans had their lives turned upside down by it. But popular music — however you define the term — never really engaged with the crash itself, or the widespread suffering and steep inequality that followed. In a new story for Vox, I looked at a wide range of American music released over the last decade, since the stock market crash of 2008, for signs of rap, country, rock and other musicians engaging with one of the most transformative events in U.S. history.
I tried to get at some of the best examples of songs that look at economic structures, income inequality, and the failings of capitalism. I also tried to ask, Why is there not more of this? What does it tell us about the U.S. and American culture?