Late Thursday night, Jay Z shares a new song called "Spiritual" which touches on his thoughts behind the senseless killings of black men in America at the hands of police officers. "Got My Hands in the air, in despair, Don’t shoot, I just wanna do good," he raps on the track.
In this week alone, police have shot and killed Alton Sterling (in Baton Rouge, La.) and Philando Castile (in Falcon Heights, Minn.). These killings led to protests throughout the country, with a shooting incident at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Tex. this evening resulting in four dead police officers, eight more injured, as well as a civilian harmed, and likely more before the night is over.
Jay Z released the song along with a letter about the inspiration behind it. He states "Spiritual" was recorded a while back and he never got to finishing it at the time. TDE president Punch told him to release it in 2014 when Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., but in Jay Z's words, "Sadly I told him, 'This issue will always be relevant.' I'm hurt that I knew his death wouldn't be the last."
He continued, "I'm saddened and disappointed in THIS America - we should be further along."
"Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality," he ended the message alongside a quote from Frederick Douglass. You can read Jay Z's full letter above.
It seems that Punch also tweeted about the song prior to its release. "I believe music heals. I believe that," he wrote.
I believe music heals. I believe that.
This new single from Jay Z no doubt has fans excited, as it makes his most recent appearance on wax in the last few months; he also hopped on tracks with Pusha T, DJ Khaled, and Fat Joe. But more than that, "Spiritual" finds Jay Z addressing the issues of America when few individuals with his platform would do the same. You can listen to "Spiritual" on Tidal or stream it in full below without a subscription.