Jay Z says “spiritual” is a work in progress that he never quite had the time to finish, but the track was released anyway late on Thursday night for good reason. The song, which marks the first new single the famed rapper has released in years, discusses what it’s like to be a black person in America right now. It’s particularly poignant in light of the recent killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and, sadly, many more. The release also comes on the same evening as the horrific shooting of 11 police officers who took sniper fire while guarding a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, TX.

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Jay Z released the following text alongside the new single:

I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it.

Punch (TDE) told me I should drop it when Mike Brown died, sadly I told him, “this issue will always be relevant.” I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last……

I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America – we should be further along.

WE ARE NOT.

I trust God and know everything that happens is for our greatest good, but man…. it’s tough right now.

Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality.

– j

The new song is available to stream exclusively on Tidal, of which Jay Z is part owner, and its artwork is a black square. You’ll find the track embedded below in its entirety. If the embedded player fails (which it will, because WordPress) you can stream it right here.

//embed.tidal.com/tidal-embed.js

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