Jay Z has released his first single in years in response to police brutality

Jay-z samsung adYouTubeJay Z.

Jay Z has released his first single in years in response to the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers earlier this week.

The song, titled “spiritual,” premiered on Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal on Thursday night.

Backed by a somber beat, Jay Z raps pointedly about police brutality in the song, repeating the refrain, “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.” 

A written statement from Jay Z accompanies the song on Tidal’s website. In the note, he describes how the song has been several years in the making.

I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it. 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…… 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. Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality. – j

Listen to “spiritual” below or on Tidal’s website

NOW WATCH: Kit Harington explains why he showed up to his ‘Game of Thrones’ audition with a black eye

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.