“Be Free” by J. Cole

“Be Free” expresses the pain felt by J. Cole as he loses another young black man to police brutality. He expresses the shock and disappointment he feels waking up to the news of police shooting young black men.

In the chorus, the rapper tackles key issues that keep African-Americans in bondage, stemming from slavery, to racism, classicism, incarcerations, and mental slavery. While speaking on these concepts, he believes that although they (black people) are making an effort to experience freedom, they are cowered into submission by these killings and the feeling of being alone in the fight against injustice.

While the song retells a detailed eyewitness account of the events that led to the shooting of Michael Brown, the rapper sends a message to every listener to join in the fight against police violence, racism and injustice that have become prevalent in the country.

J. Cole, who wrote this song as a tribute to Michael Brown released the track on SoundCloud with a message honoring all young black men who had been murdered in the country by police officers. He further stated his desire to see the world rid of all the injustice and filled with peace.

“All we wanna do is break the chains off
All we wanna do is be free”


J. Cole intensely captures the occurrence of police brutality and the frequent killing of innocent black men as a hindrance to freedom in America.

“Be Free” Particulars

Writing: J. Cole
Production: Cole
Album: The 2016 compilation album “1000 Days, 1000 Songs”
Release: August 15, 2014

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