In the wake of all the recent shootings that happened all over the United States due to the senseless killings of innocent people, artists have decided to respond in the only way they know how. Beginning with the death of Michael Brown, continuing on to this week where Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were both filmed being killed by police shootings. This unfortunately brought on the further tragic deaths of the officers shot in the sniper ambush in Dallas, which resulted in five police officers losing their lives. Today, recording artist and rap mogul Jay-Z has decided to release a new track “Spiritual” in response to all the recent horrific events that have happened in our nation.
According to Consequence of Sound, for the last year and a half, Jay-Z, who recently has been dealing with his music steam and handling Tidal, has been working on this track, it embodies lyrics that touch on exactly the problems in our nation, it is his take on what he has been seeing and how it resonates with him. It seems like bad universal timing that Jay released the new track just a few hours before the tragic Dallas shooting, but this horrible event does not diminish the horror of the others. The lyrics can clearly be heard as the song plays “I am not poison, no I am not poison” and “I just wanna do good”, one can easily correlate the words in the track into any situation of violence onto an seemingly innocent victim. However, in a note that Jay-Z released along with the song clearly indicates that the song is about the recent victims Sterling, Castile, Brown. and the others. What should be noted however is the song does not reflect tones of violence or revenge, not even attacking the cops! Jay-Z is in fact calling out for peace, and that it needs to come from both sides, he is disappointed that America is still having this problem and that we are better than this. In the note he wrote he said “I’m Saddened and disappointed in THIS America- we should be further along. WE ARE NOT.”
The new track is a simple beat accompanied by Jay’s strong lyrical work, providing intense emotion and verbal imagery that if listened to closely, can strike a core and make one realize that enough is enough, our future generations can not be raised in a world like this. There needs to be change and it needs to come quickly. Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s wife, also released a small message in regards to the police killings, holding a moment of silence during her recent Glasgow concert. releasing a statement via her website and sharing her feelings on the chaos currently happening in our nation.