“What’s going on” is a song by Marvin Gaye that basically summarize what was going on in the 1960′s. He talks about black and women rights. Gaye also sings about protests and the hippies. He also brings up the huge drug scene that was going on in the 1960′s. Gaye also expresses the peace and anti-war sentiment of America in his song. The audience would of most likely be thinking about a happy memory because this song is talking about recent past.
From a historical distance, there are less anti-war people in the United States as there was in the 1960′s in relation to the population. There are no longer any cries or protests for basic civil rights from blacks and women. The definition of freedom is defined in the song to be able to smoke care free and have long hair. This was the trend back in the 1960′s and peace was considered freedom.