J. Cole, who’s known to have conscious rap leanings, isn’t the one to stay quiet during tragic circumstances like these. Michael Brown represents another young black male lost because of police brutality. J. Cole recognizes this and pays tribute on “Be Free,” which is simultaneously a call for justice.
“Be Free” finds J. Cole singing in a pained tone to make his humanistic statement: “All we wanna do is break the chains off/ All we wanna do is be free.”
J. Cole released a statement about the song:
“There was a time in my life when I gave a fuck. 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. No more dorms, no more meal plan, no more refund check,” J. Cole said. “Nigga need a job. Nigga got rent. Got car note. Cable bill. Girlfriend moves in and becomes wife. Baby on the way. Career advances. Instagram is poppin. Lebron leaves Miami. LIFE HITS. We become distracted. 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 fuck if it’s by police or peers. This shit is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel.
“Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free.”
Listen to the straightforward, honest tribute above.