J. Cole Visits Ferguson, Missouri After Releasing "Be Free," A Michael Brown Tribute

posted Monday August 18 ,2014 at 09:00AM CDT | 65 comments

J. Cole Visits Ferguson, Missouri After Releasing

UPDATE: J. Cole released "Be Free" in honor of Michael Brown last week. Now, the rapper has visited Ferguson, Missouri.

Today (August 14), J. Cole released "Be Free," a selection that pays tribute to Michael Brown, a Ferguson, Missouri, teen who was reportedly shot and killed by police Saturday (August 9).

"Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free," Cole says in a statement on his Soundcloud page.

On the song, J. Cole says, "Can you tell me why / Every time I step outside / I see my niggas die / I'm lettin' you know / That there ain't no gun they make that can kill my soul." 

J. Cole's commentary regarding the matter follows messages delivered by Killer Mike, Big Boi and Nelly, among others, about the shooting of Michael Brown

Yesterday (August 14), President Barack Obama addressed the matter and the aftermath of the shooting with the following statement: 

"When something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities,” he said, according to TIME. “There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights."

Listen to J. Cole's "Be Free" here

(August 15, 2014)

UPDATE: Following the release of "Be Free," J. Cole has visited Ferguson, Missouri. During his visit, the rapper spoke with protestors and Captain Ron Johnson, the highway patrol official in charge of some of the response efforts.

Cole also went to the street where Michael Brown was reportedly shot and killed.

Images and a video of J. Cole's visit are below.


RELATED: Killer Mike, Big Boi, Nelly React To Mike Brown Shooting

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Comments 65 Posts

  • Anonymous
    was not even on TOUR and he got HERE before NELLY. He is a social rapper and this is a social issue. He is simply a narrator of modern african american life.
  • Anonymous
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  • Anonymous
    The only people who really care about Michael Brown are his family. Nearly everyone else from J. Cole to the protesters are exploiting the heartbreak of his death for their own personal agendas. If people want to help they need to a.) shut the fuck up, b.) stop "protesting", and c.) go about their daily business, allowing Brown's family the opportunity to investigate his death quietly through the justice system. As things stand, now most of you morons are distracting from the tragedy and complicating shit for Brown's family.
    • staeetru
      The only thing we need to do is take the riots to the oppressors neighborhood - we keep destroying our own homes to try to prove a point - LET'S BURN THEIR BUSINESSES and I'll bet they'll listen!
  • Anonymous
    it seems like being a nigga in this world is very dangerous
  • Anonymous
    This rich ass nigga don't give two shits about wanna be thug Mike Brown and his broke ass followers. This is 100% publicity to make himself appeal to the masses of ghetto music lovers who currently download his music for free. He needs them to buy so he can finally go platinum.
  • Anonymous
    I'm making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $95 but I see how it works now.I feel so much freedom now that I'm my own boss.go to this site home tab for more detai.... ======================= http://www.cashtot.com =======================
  • hmmm
    I don't know, as a black person who has been affected by this issue I know J Cole may have good intentions but I just can't see this as genuine. Look at these photos. They look way too staged and corny. If you want to really do something to help, put the cameras away and stop the photo-ops. Just do it. Some people will say "Don't hate on J Cole" and all that, but look at these photos. Just look at them. Does this seem 100% genuine to you? Really?
    • Anonymous
      I have to agree they do have a somewhat staged look to them, but think about it... if someone as famous as j.cole goes into a neighbourhood as famous as this, people are gunna take photos. He's just walking around and people are taking pics, doesn't really count as "staged" imo
    • Anonymous
      cant do nothing without someone being negative yeah it would look more natural if you went there obviously if someone of any status went there you would have fans taking pictures and so on
    • staeetru
      I didn't know you could determine principle based on a photo?! Contrary to your beliefs paparazzi follow stars - J. Cole is a star so obviously there is going be reporters out there. We actually need more of that being that there are ignorant people thinking racism does not exist. Let's exploit the issues NOT THE PEOPLE. I didn't see him taking photos of himself with any of the family members or so forth - please if you not for the cause just KILL YOURSELF!
  • d mac
    Salute to Cole, young man on the ground seeing with his own eyes, only true way you gain experience to come to a reality. YOU'RE SICK IN THE HEAD IF YOU THINK HE'S PROMOTING HIS ALBUM. I see many of you have no idea about the laws of the land nor do you have the intelligence to see the blatant obstruction from the "blue wall of silence", the coroner, governor, prosecutor. Look and see a majority black SUBURB is ran by MINORITY whitemen (strangely, it reflects this rap music thing we love). Forget the white trolls and ignorant brethren and ask yourself what and how are you living because this is serious and NOT the last episode. This is a NATIONWIDE problem, don't EVER FORGET THAT.
    • Anonymous
      FREE TWON
  • Kramer
    This is annoying as hell. Why are people so dramatic? B.o.B is the only sensible one right now. Look at his deleted tweets about this topic. Truth
    • Anonymous
      how sensible is he if he deleted that shit though?
  • Anonymous
    J. Cole is there, Talib is going there; niggas can mock these guys but they're TRYING in a very fucked up situation. What's House Negro scumbag Jay-Z or any other headline rapper doing? NOTHING. They don't give a fuck because they eat of white $$$, whether black folks vote or own their own businesses, have real political power-- who gives a fuck? Drink ciroc!
    • Anonymous
      "niggas can mock these guys but they're TRYING in a very fucked up situation." TRYING what exactly? what does flying there achieve or accomplish? this is a world wide story it's not like their bringing attention to anything. Jay-Z is staying quiet out of respect if he opens his mouth it will become more about him and less about the cause.
  • King Richard
    please listen in your spare time,ima southern rapper/songwriter from memphis,tn with my own y=unique sound,u dnt have to care about me,just the music soundcloud.com/kingrichard1983/tracks https://www.youtube.com/user/Darealkingrichard/videos
  • King Richard
    This is almost appropriate,its good to show you're aware as a star & care but its takes more than this,especially when us blacks are committing more crimes against each other
  • Sensual A
    If we keep making songs about murdering each other and then following through with it how can we expect the police to treat us different than we treat ourselves. Black life is not valuable to anybody and the taking of it is celebrated in songs we dance to. If we say "no Snitching" and don't report criminals wreaking havoc in our communities how are we gonna expect the police to snitch on each other?
  • Anonymous
    pure publicity stunt, so he can sell more records
    • Anonymous
      clearly cause cole is dropping an album lmao
    • Anonymous
      yea cole is going all out for publicity...he just put out three mixtapes and did the ice bucket challange twice...
    • Anonymous
      He doesnt even have an album scheduled to release anytime soon.
  • Anonymous
    I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link... Try it, you won't regret it!.. ======================= www.23jobs.com =======================
  • Anonymous
    House Negro Shawn Carter should tell black folks stop wasting $$$ on bullshit white products and 1) Buy Black 2) Organize and 3) VOTE motherfucker $$$ + voting and you have something you see what cornball fucks Sharpton & Jesse are in 2014 St Louis black church are pussy or scared or lazy There is room-- there is NEED-- for new black leaders Shawn Carter is NOT and never will be one of then-- he's just a mouthpiece and a whore-- but he could encourage others and support them with $$$.
    • Anonymous
      shawn wouldnt wanna fuck up his money from all his white sponsors, endorsees and business partners
    • AND...your point?
      Everything a rapper does publicly is a publicity stunt. Beefs with other rappers. Videos with a bunch of half naked women. Interviews saying ridiculous things..... At least this publicity is drawing people to an important story. Who cares what the motivation is?
  • captain_ahab
    Isn't one of his lyrics "where we carry 45's like change for a 20'. Insinuating he carries a 45 caliber pistol, which is one of the largest, deadliest calibers you could buy. He's a hypocrite, this is all for publicity
    • Anonymous
      carrying a gun for protection is different than shooting an innocent person who was not armed...as far as i know, j. cole has never killed anyone.
    • lol dude
      Srsly learn the lyrics before u start talkin shit bruh. He says "cole world baby aint nothin sunny i see em hatin but it aint nothin 2me, Im from the "Ville"(Fayetteville NC) where THEY bang 4 the money and carry 4 5's(45) like change for a 20"... Im from da same city he from n unfortunately hes right, niggas over here be spazzin. So im just sayin do some research first.
    • Anonymous
      "an innocent person" it's amazing how everyone jumped to that conclusion without knowing anything about the event
    • Anonymous
      i saw him on video roughing up an older smaller store clerk minutes before his death so its not too hard to believe he was feeling tough and might have tried the same thing on the cop
    • NYYstateofmind
      to be fair, if you actually follow his music, he is speaking for the rest of his city, not him.
    • @Anonymouse
      Yeah, he robbed the clerk. And should be in JAIL for it. But this has nothing to do with whether he was an assohole or not or a criminal or not. There were MULTIPLE eyewitnesses that say he had his hands up and was unarmed, after having already been shot so he was weakened on top of that. And in no way a danger to the cop. No reason for him to be shot 6 times, 2 times in the head for being a jackass. Arrest him and put him on trial like anyone else.
    • Anonymous
      you don't go to jail for SHOPLIFTING sir, petit larceny, a fine, no more store, probably probation stop letting these devils twist your mind with their terminology, a pack of cigarillos ain't worth prosecution to any store in America. Most write off that loss monthly. LEARN ABOUT AMERICA
    • Anonymous
      and you don't go to jail for jaywalking either, no arrest, just a ticket. your reasoning is cool but you know nothing about the laws which makes you food for aggressive policing
    • Anonymous
      but you get smoked for making a cop feel in danger for his life. its always best to hit the deck and not be superman no matter how tough you think you are from pushing around senior citizen store clerks.
    • @anonymous
      1. He physically assaulted the store clerk and it was caught on video and he's black so yeah he would absolutely go to jail. Strong arm robbery is a felony. 2. You missed my point. Justice is an arrest, a trial and probation or jail or acquittal or whatever. but it should be dealt with that way, not by killing the kid. 3. The cop wasn't in danger for his life at the point of the shooting. The kid had ran away. Cop fired shots, 1 hit kid in the arm. Kid turns around, says he's unarmed don't shoot with his hands up. Cop shoots him 5 more times including 2 times in the head until the kid drops to floor. Police don't call it in and let his body sit in the Missouri heat for hours before having a black van (not paramedics) pick it up. If the cop was STILL worried that an unarmed teenager with his hands up was a threat, he could have subdued him with his partner once the kid stopped. Or could have pepper sprayed him. Or beat his ass. But 5 shots to someone unarmed at close range is murder, no matter what the character of the kid is.
  • Anonymous
    "Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black." Yeah cause you fucking idiots don't know whether the dude was white or black and "black cop shoots black kid" doesn't sound so good.
    • Anonymous
      go read the news it was a white officer, picture been posted since Saturday
  • Anonymous
    Major respect for J. Cole-- meanwhile his Massa Shawn Carter-- America's favorite House Negro-- doesn't say fucking shit. Not that he has anything to say, I'm sure, but it's telling who's shuts their mouth like a cheap fucking whore when it counts.
    • Anonymous
      shawn carter saying something isnt going to change anything. brown will still be dead. cole visiting isnt going to change anything either... great publicity though.
  • Anonymous
    Too many niggas dying on the streets and niggas acting like nothing happen. Like its normal for another nigga to kill another nigga. shit hits the fan when police kill a nigga, everyone gon react!!! Mike brown one fucking man compared to 1000 who are put to death on purpose? what about innocent niggas getting killed by other niggas? No one is speaking out!!!!! Makes me ashamed at for being black, Rappers only doing this for publicity
  • Anonymous
    real niggaz don't die!