American rapper, singer and producer, J Cole has released the surprise new song in which he dissects the Black Lives Matter movement.
The song, titled Snow on Tha Bluff, tackles themes of racism, police brutality and activism and arrives as thousands of people lined the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd. Cole himself was part of the movement, taking to the in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“There’s a young lady out there, she way smarter than me / I scrolled through her timeline in these wild times and I started to read / She mad at these crackers, she mad at these capitalists, mad at these murder police / She mad at my n***as, she mad at our ignorance, she wear her heart on her sleeve / She mad at the celebrities, low-key I be thinkin’ she talkin’ ’bout me,” Cole raps on the song.
George Floyd, an African-American man from Minnesota, was murdered by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest. Floyd, who was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, was unresponsive for 2 minutes and 53 seconds while the officer held his knee down on his neck.
Three other arresting officers, Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, also held Floyd down for this period. The incident, caught both on local CCTV and by video recordings secured bystanders, showed Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” while the officer held his knee on the back of his neck.
The death has sparked mass protests across the United States with all four officers involved being fired the next day. Chauvin, the white officer who held down his knee, has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Cole continues to rap: “It’s a reason it took like two hundred years for our ancestors just to get freed / These shackles be lockin’ the mental way more than the physical / I look at freedom like trees, can’t grow a forest like overnight / Hit the ghetto and slowly start plantin’ your seeds,” as part of the lyrics for the track.
Stream the song on full, below.