J. Cole Tributes Mike Brown on 'Be Free'

J. Cole

J. Cole Tributes Mike Brown on 'Be Free'

Roc Nation rapper unveils heartfelt track in response to shooting of unarmed teen.

Published August 15, 2014

J. Cole released "Be Free" in response to the shooting of unarmed teen Mike Brown, and unrest in Ferguson, Mo. The 29-year-old Roc Nation rapper tweeted "How we feel" early Friday morning (Aug. 15) along with the song.

Cole sings over the piano instrumental, his voice cracking at times from what sounds like crying. He repeats at the chorus, "All we wanna do is take the chains off, all we wanna do is break the chains off/ All we wanna' do is be free." 

The frustration and emotion is clear as the North Carolina native spits, "Tell me why, every time I step outside I see my n----s die?/I'm letting you know, that it ain't no gun they make that can kill my soul." 

Intertwined in the track is an account of the shooting from witness Dorian Johnson, 22, Brown's friend who was walking with him the day he was killed. Authorities have said that Brown and the officer who shot him, Darren Wilison, got into a fight that led to the tragedy. 

Although Brown was unarmed, Ferguson police say Wilson had to receive medical treatment for facial injuries, allegedly sustained at the hands of the teen. Brown was shot 4-6 times, according to reports. 

Cole is the latest rapper to honor Brown and show support for the Ferguson residents seeking justice in his death. Earlier in the week Jeezy visited Ferguson, and paid tribute to Brown on stage along with Wiz Khalifa during their Under the Influence of Music tour stop in St. Louis. 

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(Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for VH1)

Written by Latifah Muhammad


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