Is J. Cole’s “Be Free” becoming the anthem of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri? The New York Times suggests that it is, comparing the rapper’s track to “Ohio,” the song by rockers Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young about the 1970 shootings of student protesters at Kent State University.
The Times notes the track, which features Cole singing, ““All we want to do is take the chains off.... All we want to do is be free,” got more than 600-thousand plays on SoundCloud since in its first days of release. Ann Powers, NPR’s music critic, tells the Times that “Be Free,” is "the first fully formed protest song I've heard addressing the death of Mike Brown" and said it was "evocative of Nina Simone."
Cole declined to be interviewed about the track, but posted that he wrote the song because, “That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I’m tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men."
TeeRoy's 2 Cents:
- Are you moved by “Be Free”?
- Are you surprised he didn’t rhyme on it?
- Do you expect more rappers to make songs about Mike Brown and Ferguson?