One of the advantages of the Internet age is that artists get to release their new material when their subjects are in the news now. Rapper J. Cole took advantage of technology today by releasing “Be Free,” a tribute to Michael Brown, the teen shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri just last Saturday.
Cole posted the track on his blog Dreamvillain on Friday. “All we want to do is break the chains off,” Cole sings repeatedly. “All we wanna do is be free.” He also included audio from witnesses telling their stories on television.
“There was a time in my life when I gave a f**k,” Cole wrote in a message on his blog. “Every chance I got I was screaming about it. I was younger. It’s so easy to try to save the world when you’re in college. You got nothing but time and no responsibility. But soon life hits you.”
He wrote that while there may be distractions, life has to hit you at some point.
“We become distracted,” his statement continued. “We become numb. I became numb. But not anymore. That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I’m tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don’t give a f**k if it’s by police or peers. This s**t is not normal.”
He concluded, “I made a song. This is how we feel.”
Brown, who was unarmed, was shot and killed last Saturday. Ferguson police finally revealed the name of the officer that shot him Friday morning. The officer was Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran.
According to NBC News, police are now naming Brown a suspect in a convenience store robbery moments before he was shot. Brown allegedly took a box of cigars from the store.
Here is the track, which features strong language.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com