“Got my hands in the air in despair/don’t shoot/I just wanna do good,” he raps on the track.
The song, which was released on Tidal, was accompanied by a long open letter in which Jay Z said he began writing the song “awhile ago,” and considered releasing it after the 2014 murder of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.
“I’m saddened and disappointed in this America,” he wrote. “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.”
The song’s release came not long after Jay Z’s wife Beyonce published an open letter on her website Thursday in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of whom were shot and killed by police officers.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our community,” she wrote. “It’s up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’”
Beyonce also held a moment of silence during her concert in Glasgow, Scotland while standing in front of a large screen displaying the names of individuals killed by police.