Jay Z released a new song today in the wake of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s deaths. The song titled “Spiritual” was written “a year or so ago” after the death of Mike Brown, but Jay Z didn’t think it was quite ready until he found new urgency in its message this week.
In a statement released with the song on Tidal, where “Spiritual” is available to members and nonmembers, Jay Z wrote “I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America — we should be further along. WE ARE NOT.”
The song itself marks the first time Jay Z has released new material since 2013’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail, and its lyrics give a new momentum to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “I am not poison, no I am not poison / Just a boy from the hood that / Got my hands in the air / In despair don’t shoot.” The rapper also specifically addresses his life and daughter, Blue Ivy. “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.”
Listen to the whole song below.