The shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri, teen Michael Brown has sent shock waves of throughout the nation as protesters have gathered in several cities, including St. Louis, New York, Los Angeles and Washington. The crowds have taken to the streets to denounce police brutality and mourn the unarmed 18-year-old who was shot by an officer on Saturday.
J. Cole protested in a different way on Friday morning (August 15) when he released “Be Free,” a heartfelt dedication to Brown.
“How we feel,” Cole tweeted at about 4:30 a.m. with a Soundcloud link.
“And I’m in denial and it don’t take no X-ray to see right through my smile,” he croons in a raspy voice to start the song.
There’s is no rapping on the track, just Cole singing emotionally, over a sentimental piano. “All we wanna do is be free,” he pleads before asking, “Can you tell me why every time I step outside I see my n—as die?”
To close the track, Cole uses a soundbite from Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend and an eyewitness to the shooting.
“He turned around, put his hands in the air,” Johnson can be heard saying near the end of the song. “He started to get down but the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and he fired several more shots.”