The Evolution and Future of Contemporary Gospel Music

The Evolution and Future of Contemporary Gospel


Gospel Music can be defined as the musical wonders of Christianity that aid people in understanding scriptures from the Bible and all the emotions from believing in the religion. Gospel Music was a hand to hold in the darkest of times for the black community. When looking back at slavery, it is evident that the white man forced Christianity onto enslaved people. White Christianity included scriptures to justify their terrible actions towards people of color. African Americans took Christianity and used it to fuel their beliefs once they broke free of the mental chains white people had instilled. Mental liberation and musical talent that developed over years cultivated a genre of music that acts as an emotional outlet and a form of communication in the black community.

An example of
Traditional Gospel

An example of
Contemporary Gospel

Gospel Music stemed from negro spirituals and the Fisk Jubilee Quartet. It was cultivated by Thomas Dorsey, the God Father of Gospel, and aided by Mahalia Jackson . He incorporated the technique of call and response into gospel music and added the rhythm of jazz to the genre. Gospel music has many different categories, but the two most discussed ones are traditional and contemporary. The traditional style of gospel music lacks the rhythmic jazz the contemporary style possesses. Gospel evolved from Traditional Church Gospel to Transitional Gospel, and then to Contemporary. It was first used by Edward Hawkins to sing his song Oh Happy Day in the 60s. The most prominent style of Gospel in the 21st century is contemporary, but recently I have seen a shift in the the genre. 

The First Example of Contemporary Gospel Music

The Evolution of Contemporary Gospel Music






Where Contemporary Gospel Music is headed

As a member of Generation Z, most Gospel Music I enjoy was created no later than 2015. I could not name three Gospel Songs off the top of my head that has been made in the last six years. The lack of new Contemporary Gospel songs can be traced back to the black community finding other emotional outlets. A significant part of young African Americans has strayed away from Christianity, thus resulting in fewer people enjoying Gospel music. Many young black people that stand firm in their faith have started to gravitate towards Gospel rap. Although Gospel rap started in the 90s due to Kirk Franklin, rap has changed. The new rap style has cultivated a developed version of the original Gospel rap. Rappers such as Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, and Drake have started to incorporate the word of God into their music. Kayne West has been the top Gospel Artist for three years. He created his church, called Sunday Service, for his creative juices to flow freely.

Kanye West Gospel Work


Contemporary gospel music is much more than a rhythmic flow of emotional lyrics. It can be defined as a staple in the black community and therapy for our people. Contemporary Gospel Music protrudes a soulful, positive, and hopeful timbre that will continue to adapt to the black community’s problems. Rap is an eccentric part of the African American culture because just as gospel music acted as therapy, so does rap. The continuation of adding gospel and rap together will lead to an interesting future for contemporary gospel music.

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