Joe Budden is taking a break from lighting a fire underneath Drake to touch on something much more signficant with his latest song, a freestyle over Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar’s “Freedom” track. Starting off with the chilling words of Diamond Reynolds and her daughter, before fading into an excerpt of Jessie Williams’ BET Awards speech, Budden spits for nearly four minutes about the tension and injustice occurring around the country.
“Maybe I’m lost, signs are vital to me
Sandra Bland didn’t come off as suicidal to me
Y’all play around, thinkin’ we on safe ground
They killed Tamir Rice and his rights, right on that playground
Eric was selling cigarettes, “I can’t breathe,” it was said
The bigger threat he was a nigga, I bet, but listen
Last year I went to church with my Mother Fay
We sat behind Ms. Garner, and it was Mother’s Day
She sat strong, inside I cried for her
My eyes tucking the water as I was hugging his daughter…
Philando Castillo told him he had a weapons permit
Was murdered moments after without a complexion permit
That’s bloodshed with his daughter in the car
I’m only upset for our sons and daughters tomorrow”
Joe also explained on Soundcloud and YouTube why he chose to drop music rather than march, make a speech, drop a donation somewhere or any other action he may have taken.
“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
It’s powerful stuff from Joe, and on “Freedom” he picked the perfect backdrop to get it all off his chest. He also put together a graphic but compelling and moving visual for the track, which can be seen below.