This chapter analyses the cultural politics of empowerment, tracing how the meanings of the term have been contested and transformed since it entered popular use in the 1980s. Changes in the way that the term has been employed over the last thirty years obscure the relationship between liberating effects (such as equality and justice) and neoliberal pressures (including responsibility and personal agency) in the fields of social work, international development, and feminism. Applying this finding to rap and metal, the chapter critically examines the widespread belief that music can incite social change. It completes the argument (made in previous chapters) that music can affect individuals in the course of their listening by considering how this manifests as social action. It therefore reaches a conclusion on the relationship of empowerment to power. The analysis of four rap and metal songs demonstrates how music can be heard to instil a social awareness and inspire listeners to partake in social activism. Taking influence from the contested contemporary notion of women’s empowerment (for one example), the chapter culminates in a discussion of the effects music really can have on our lives.