"Hurricane" (1975) - Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is no stranger to protest songs. During the '60's civil rights era, the folk giant turned rock prophet created a collection of endearing socially conscious anthems ("Blowin' In The Wind," "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," and "The Times They Are a-Changing" just to name a few). But arguably his most incendiary statement was "Hurricane," a track that targeted what he believed to be the false imprisonment of middleweight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.
Many in the media questioned Dylan's objectivity to the case believing that the singer glossed over the pugilist's criminal history. Dylan responded to his critics by playing at several benefits concerts to raise money for Carter's defense. Carter--whose legal ordeal inspired the 1999 movie The Hurricane which starred Denzel Washington--was finally freed without bail in November 1985 after a judge found that the prosecution had been "predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure."
Lyrics To Fight For: "The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance/The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums/To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum/And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger/No one doubted that he pulled the trigger/And though they could not produce the gun/The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed/And the all-white jury agreed."