Beyonce

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Late Thursday night, Jay-Z released a new song, "Spiritual," as a commentary on police brutality and the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. "I made this song a year or so 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," the rapper said. "I trust God and know everything that happens is for our greatest good, but man.... it's touch right now. Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to police brutality."

Jay Z's statement, shared via Tidal's Twitter, ended with a quote from abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass. "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe," Douglass once said.

In the song's hook, the 45-year-old Brooklyn-raised hip-hop heavyweight raps, "Yeah, I am not poison, no 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 do good, ah / I am not poison, no 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 do good, uh."

The release of "Spiritual" came just a few hours after Jay Z's wife, Beyoncé, released her own call to action in the wake of Sterling and Castile's murders. Titled "Freedom," after her song of the same name with Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé wrote, "We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they 'stop killing us.' We don't need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. We're going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished. These robberies of lives make us feel helpless and hopeless but we have to believe that we are fighting for the rights of the next generation, for the next young men and women who believe in good. This is a human right. No matter your race, gender or sexual orientation. This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalized, who is struggling for freedom and human rights. This is not a plea to all police officers but toward any human being who fails to value life. The war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over. Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win."

"We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes," Beyoncé, 34, continued. "While we pray for the families of Alton Sterling and Philander Castile, we will also pray for an end to this plague of injustice in our communities. We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes."

The singer ended her letter by sharing links to help people contact their local congressman or congresswoman, as well as to voice protest for Sterling and Castile's homicides.

Beyoncé later paused during her concert in Glasgow to honor the innocent lives lost to police brutality. After she performed "Freedom" a cappella, she and her dancers held a moment of silence in front of a screen that listed many of the hundreds of victims' names. Sterling and Castile's names appeared at the top; the words "and countless others" appeared at the bottom.

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