In the wake of the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Jay-Z released “Spiritual,” a new track currently streaming on Tidal, including his voice among those of other celebrities offering support.
In a statement released on Tidal, the hip-hop mogul charted a backstory for the song, expressing that he was urged by Punch from Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) to drop the track after the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in 2014, but detracted after thinking that “his death wouldn’t be the last.”
“I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America – we should be further along,” Jay-Z continued. “I trust God and know everything that happens is for our greatest good, but man….it’s tough right now.”
“Spiritual,” Jay-Z’s first solo track since Magna Carta… Holy Grail in 2013, is a riff that accents the chorus “Just a boy from the hood/Got my hands in the air/in despair/don’t shoot/I just wanna do good” with the incantatory “I am not poison/No, I am not poison” which serve as a catalogue of phrases that continue to haunt the nation.
The statement ends with an observation from Frederick Douglass that highlights the consequences of oppression.
“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.”
Here’s “Spiritual” here.
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