Culture

Songs From N.W.A., Kendrick Lamar Re-Entered Streaming Charts Amidst Protests

Listeners also boosted Childish Gambino’s “This is America” and James Brown’s “Say it Loud.”

In just the last week, protests erupted around the United States following the murder of George Floyd. As a result, streaming numbers are spotlighting the music fueling them.

On Wednesday, @chartdata revealed some familiar songs surging back up streaming charts. Childish Gambino’s Grammy-winning single “This is America” jumped a whopping 95 spots, landing at number 2 on Spotify’s United States chart. Listeners streamed the song over a million times on Tuesday alone.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” hit its highest peak of all-time, landing at number 26 on Spotify’s global chart. According to Rolling Stone, streams of N.W.A.’s “Fuck tha Police” increased 272 percent between May 27 and June 1.

Rolling Stone notes that “Fuck tha Police” streams similarly increased during protests over the death of Mike Brown in August 2015. However, listeners doubled that number at the time of George Floyd protests last week.

Listeners also brought Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar’s collaboration “Freedom” back to the global top 200. On June 2 alone, users streamed the track nearly 700,000 times.

Protest anthems of past decades have also proved their timeless nature. Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” surged past 700 million views milestone on YouTube. James Brown’s “Say It Loud–I’m Black and I’m Proud” re-entered Spotify and Apple Music’s top 200 streaming charts.

Upon its release, “Say It Loud” held the number one spot on Billboard‘s R&B singles chart for six weeks. The song became the unofficial theme for the Black Power movement of the 1970s.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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