Music News

N.W.A, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar streams surge amid George Floyd protests

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N.W.A.’s classic 1988 anti-police-brutality anthem “[Eff] tha Police,” Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” YG’s “FDT” and more protest songs have seen a huge spike in streaming numbers in the last week. 

Thousands have sought classic protest songs and music of comfort for inspiration and strength amid protests after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, despite Floyd repeatedly protesting that he couldn’t breathe.

Rolling Stone reports N.W.A.’s protest song picked up 765,000 streams between Sunday and Monday, doubling its daily streams since its earlier resurgence in 2015 during protests, a year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  

TikTokers are going viral using Gambino’s “This Is America” as a soundtrack for videos featuring footage from protests: streams of the single have jumped 149%.

Kendrick Lamar’s black national anthem “Alright” is also making it way back around, followed by Public Enemy‘s “Fight the Power,” D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s “The Charade,” Killer Mike’s “Don’t Die,” and classic oldies like James Brown’s “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud,” and Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free.” 

Beyoncé saw a jump in streams, especially after former Glee actress Amber Riley belted her Lemonade track  “Freedom” during a star-studded Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles earlier this week. “What an honor,” Amber wrote, sharing her amazing performance on Instagram.

Also on Instagram, Ludacris approved of New York protesters chanting his 2001 hit single “Move B****,” during a protest in New York earlier this week.

By Rachel George
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