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Jay Z responds to recent police brutality in new track

“Spiritual” is the rapper’s first release in nearly three years, exploring his thoughts and feelings as a black person in the United States

Jay Z is the latest musician to speak out in the wake of the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in America. The rapper has released a new track, “Spiritual”, on Tidal alongside a statement about police brutality.

In his note, Jay explains that the song process began around the time of Mike Brown’s death – an 18-year-old black man shot dead in Ferguson back in 2014. “I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn't be the last,” he says in the accompanying statement. “I'm saddened and disappointed in THIS America – we should be further along. WE ARE NOT.”

“I trust God and know everything that happens is for our greatest good, but man... it's tough right now.”

He concluded by sending his blessings to the families of those that had lost loved ones to “police brutality” and included a quotation by African-American social reformer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

The rapper makes reference to the “don’t shoot” slogan that spread through the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of Mike Brown. “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, I just wanna do good,” he raps.

He also speaks of his own 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.”

This release comes after his wife Beyonce’s powerful statement, which called for unity and action at a time when the black community needs it most. “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” she wrote on her website. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us’.”

At her concert in Glasgow, the singer stood defiantly in front of a screen that held countless names of those murdered because of police brutality. Her sister Solange also uploaded a powerful cover of “Black Maybe” in memory of those killed by police.

Listen to the track and read his full statement on Tidal here.