10 Songs that are Millennial Negro Spirituals
DJ, play the record!
Madonna said it best, "Music makes the people come together.” Music plays a huge role in everyday life and culture of black people in America going back to the days of slavery where Negro Spirituals was pertinent to the survival and agency of the oppressed community. The 2002 book, The Books of American Negro Spirituals, generally defines the phrase as “Christian songs that were created by African Americans during the times of slavery.” However, the term ‘Negro Spiritual” has been flipped around into a new meaning to fit contemporary music culture.
Music fills our crowd with unity, pride and a way to let go for a moment, the everyday plights that affect us African Americans in society. It doesn’t matter what the black space is from HBCUs (historically black college & universities) homecomings, summertime cookouts, pool parties, Black Greek life gathering, or a Friday night house party for black and other students of color to celebrate. Some songs play as anthemic numbers for when the DJ first puts on that record, 85% of the crowd will automatically come in unison to sing, dance or rap it.
Black Twitter coined the phrase “millennial negro spirituals” as these songs are the embedded soundtracks that capture the zeitgeist of the black millennial turn-up culture including Chicago drill classics, trap music, 2000s R&B and bounce music. These songs are to us what Earth, Wing“September,” “Before I Let Go” and “Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough” is to the Soul Train generation of black folks.
The selected lyrics of the tunes down below are the standout out verses from the songs that most party-goers are familiar with. See them below.