George Pimentel/WireImageAbout a year ago, Jay Z started working on a song about police brutality but never finished it. Now, he’s released that song, because sadly, it’s still all too relevant.
The song, called “Spiritual,” features a sound collage of snippets of different voices, some electronically altered, and Jay rapping, “No, I’m not poison/No I’m not poison/Just a boy from the hood that/Got my hands in the air in despair/Don’t shoot, I just wanna do good.” The track’s available on Tidal to subscribers and non-subscribers.
In another verse, Jay makes reference to Blue Ivy, his daughter with wife Beyonce, rapping, “I’m smack dab in a hurricane of emotions/Can’t even raise my little daughter/My little Carter/We call her blue ’cause it’s sad that/How can I be a dad that/I never had that/Shattered in a million pieces/Where the glass at?/I need a drink or something/I need an angelic voice to sing somethin’.”
In a statement accompanying the song, which you can read on Billboard, Jay writes that a colleague told him to release it “when Mike Brown died. Sadly I told him, ‘this issue will always be relevant.’ I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last.”
Jay adds, “I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America. We should be further along — WE ARE NOT.”
The rapper also sends “blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality” He ends with a quote from 19th century writer and activist Frederick Douglass: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. “
Billboard notes that this is Jay’s first new material as a lead artist on a song since 2013’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail.
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