Jay Z has joined his wife in issuing a rather public statement about the recent shootings in the United States. In his new song "Spiritual," released on TIDAL, the 46-year-old directly addresses the violence that has been plaguing black Americans.
"I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it,” Jay Z wrote in a statement. “Punch (TDE) told me I should drop it when Mike Brown died, sadly I told him, ‘This issue will always be relevant.’ I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last."
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) July 8, 2016
He went on to say, "I'm saddened and disappointed in THIS America -- we should be further along. WE ARE NOT."
The post ends with a quote from Frederick Douglass, a famous African-American abolitionist and statesman.
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
Jay Z passionately raps equally poignant messages in the song itself: “Just a boy from the hood that/ Got my hands in the air/ In despair don’t shoot/ I just wanna do good.”
On Thursday, Beyoncé also issued a statement on the recent spate of killings in the U.S. “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” the mother of one wrote in the open letter on her website. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’”
She added: “We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.”
The pair aren't the only ones who have become increasingly vocal about the state of race relations in the US.
Jesse Williams from Grey's Anatomy gave a pointed speech about what it's like to be a black person in America at the BET awards, while Kim Kardashian, John Legend, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Schumer and Chris Rock (among many others) have called on the government to institute tougher gun control laws for citizens.