This is a comeback year of sorts for Jay Z, but the New York legend has stayed away from releasing his own single. That changed last night with “Spiritual,” his new protest song.
More of a spoken word piece than a single, “Spiritual” finds Jay venting his frustration about systemic brutality against African-Americans. In doing so, he ends up representing the anguish and despair faced in 2016: “Can’t even raise my little daughter, my little Carter, we call her Blue cause it’s sad that / How can I be a dad that I never had that shattered in a million pieces, where the glass at?”
In a brief statement accompanying the release. Jay Z revealed that the song has existed for a while: Top Dawg Entertainment co-president Terrence “Punch” Henderson told him to drop it after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, but Jay Z delayed, responding “this issue will always be relevant.” Sadly, he’s right.
“I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America,” the statement says, “We should be further along.”
“Spiritual” arrives after this week’s police killings of 37-year-old Alton Sterling and 32-year-old Philando Castile. Tensions further escalated last night when a shooting at a Dallas Black Lives Matter protest left multiple police offices dead.
Stream the new song through TIDAL below.
JAY Z “spiritual” https://t.co/FxIqTUAEQg pic.twitter.com/syE18CioNM
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) July 8, 2016