World-weary Jay Z is “saddened and disappointed” that an anti-police brutality anthem he wrote years ago is still vitally needed today.
The rap mogul on Thursday released “Spiritual,” his first new music in three years, in the wake of two black men being gunned down by cops earlier that week in Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn.
“I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it,” Jay Z wrote in a statement on his streaming hisite, Tidal. “Punch (TDE) told me I should drop 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...…”
The nearly four-minute-long song, available to stream on Tidal without a subscription, features a haunting hook on which Jay Z raps, “Yeah, I am not poison, no I am 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, ah.”
“Spiritual” marked the rapper’s first new release since dropping his 12th studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” in July 2013.
“I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America — we should be further along. WE ARE NOT,” he wrote in the statement. “I trust God and know everything that happens is for our greatest good, but man.... it’s tough right now.”
He went on to offer “blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality,” capping off his message with a quote from famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass on societal oppression.
Activism is nothing new for Jay Z, whose Tidal service announced Feb. 5 — the same day slain black teen Trayvon Martin would have turned 21 — that it would donate $1.5 million from its October charity concert to the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups.
The “99 Problems” rapper’s surprise track came on the heels of Philando Castile, a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school in Minnesota, dying after police shot him during a traffic stop Wednesday. Just one day earlier, CD salesman Alton Sterling had been fatally shot by cops in Louisiana.
Jay Z’s wife, Beyoncé, also released a statement Thursday condemning what she called “the war on people of color and all minorities.”
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” she wrote on her website, linking to congresspeople’s websites. “It's up to us to take a stand and demand that they 'stop killing us.’”
During a Dallas protest Thursday night in response to the police shootings, a lone gunman opened fire on cops and shot 14 people, killing at least five officers and wounding seven more, officials said.
posted from Bloggeroid