Chargement en cours

An error has occurred. Please

Jay Z releases poignant 'Spiritual' in response to racial injustices in the U.S.

Jesse Kinos-Goodin

Jay Z released his first solo song in more than three years last night, which was inspired by the recent and ongoing racial violence in the U.S.

"I am not poison, just a boy from the hood that got my hands in the air in despair don't shoot. I just wanna go good," he raps on the song, which deals with the experience of being black in America today.

"I made this song a while ago, I never got to finish it," he wrote in a letter, posted to the homepage of his streaming service, Tidal. He goes on to tell how Punch, from Top Dog Entertainment, told him to release it when Mike Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. "Sadly I told him, 'this issue will always be relevant.' I'm saddened and disappointed in THIS America – we should be further along." You can read the full note below and listen to the song here.

On Tuesday, two police officers in Baton Rouge, La., shot Alton Sterling, who was selling CDs in front of a convenience store, killing the father of five. The next day in Minnesota, an officer shot and killed Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop in front of his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter. Both events were captured on cellphone videos, which have been widely shared and have galvanized people to speak out. This includes Drake, who posted a heartfelt open letter to Instagram, and Beyoncé, who replaced her homepage at with a message condemning the violence and a plea: "Stop killing us."

Last night in Dallas during a street protest, a sniper opened fire and killed five police officers, wounding several more. A gunman was killed after a standoff with police.