10 Songs that are Millennial Negro Spirituals

10 Songs that are Millennial Negro Spirituals

Credit: The Sugar Shack. Copyright © Ernie Barnes Family Trust

Credit: The Sugar Shack. Copyright © Ernie Barnes Family Trust

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.

1. Chief Keef - Faneto

Key lyrics: I'm a gorilla in a f**kin' coupe, finna pull up to the zoo, n***a/ Who n***a? who the f**k is you? I don't know, n***a/ No, n***a, pull up on yo block, we gon' blow, n***a

2. F.L.Y. - Swag Surfin

Key lyrics: Man I got that swag / My hat matches my bag /You know I'm popping tags /Cause man I got that swag

3. Crime Mob - Knuck If You Buck

Key lyrics: Yeah, we knucking and bucking and ready to fight /I betcha I'ma throw them things, so haters best to think twice / See, me, I ain't nothing nice, and Crime Mob, it ain't no stopping

5. Blac Youngsta - Booty

Key lyrics: Girl I wanna see you, twerk / I'll throw a lil money if you twerk / I don't really think you could, twerk

6. Migos - Walk It Like I Talk It

Key lyrics: Take my shoes and walk a mile / Something that you can't do (woo, hey! / Big talks of the town, big boy gang moves

7. Meek Mill - Dreams & Nightmares

Key lyrics: Hold up, wait a minute (Minute), y'all thought I was finished? (Whoa) / When I bought that Aston Martin, y'all thought it was rented? (Yeah) / Flexin' on these n****s, I'm like Popeye on his spinach / Double M, yeah that's my team, Rozay the captain, I'm lieutenant

8. Juvenile - Back that Azz Up

Key lyrics: Girl you workin' with some a**, yeah, you bad, yeah / Make a n***a spend his cash, yeah, his last, yeah / H**s frown when you pass, yeah, they mad, yeah / You gon' ride in the Jag, yeah, with that head

9. Khia - My Neck My Back

Key lyrics: First you gotta put your neck into it / Don't stop, just do it, do it /Then, you roll your tongue / From the crack back to the front

10. R. Kelly - Ignition (Remix)

Key lyrics: So, baby, gimme that "Toot-toot" / And lemme give you that "Beep-beep" / Runnin' her hands through my 'fro /Bouncin' on twenty-fours / While they sayin' on the radio

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