A slew of artists have turned to music to air out their grievances over the status of race relations in this country, following the gruesome murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille at the hands of police. Joe Budden is one of these artist’s hopping on Beyoncé‘s “Freedom” to deliver his message.
The powerful track opens with the heartbreaking audio of Castille’s fiance Diamond Reynolds and their daughter after witnessing his murder and then segues into part of Jesse William‘s Humanitarian Award speech from the 2016 BET Awards, where he addresses law enforcement’s data supported ability to disarm, de-escalate, and not kill white people everyday.
“It’s okay Mommy. It’s okay, I’m right here with you.”
The no-holds-barred freestyle mentions Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Castille, and Sterling; all victims of law enforcement’s dangerous bias against POC. The Slaughterhouse emcee also touches on the racial biases present throughout the various systems that make up this country, and Trump’s insidious slogan “Make America Great Again.”
Budden included the following message with the release:
I was told there was once a world where slaves communicated with each other via music, and tho I wasn’t present for that, the Hip-Hop I fell in love with always encouraged me to do the same (Thank you Public Enemy)….
Let this act as an unfortunate reminder that times change and they don’t. #BlackLivesMatter #YallLivesMatter #OurLivesMatter … I’m afraid to wonder what happens when we as a people decide to stop saying it. Some deem us threatening now by sheer design. We are not. We are loving, passionate, cultured and proud, even during unrest. However, with every life viciously and maliciously taken by costumed evil, we grow more and more afraid. What will occur when too many of us are afraid? #IfYouDontValueMyLifeEYEWill
Budden’s ability to touch on the multiple layers of racism that still continue to reveal themselves in society today makes this one of, if not the best record to address where all our anger and angst comes from. Listen to it below.
Hopefully artists, politicians, athletes, and people everywhere remain united so we can once and for all put an end to the injustice.