Need Freedom

Album: Empire Season 3 (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This soulful social commentary track features in the opening episode of Empire season 3, "Light in Darkness." The song was written by Empire's supervising music producer, Rodney Jerkins and performed by Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyons).
  • The track was born out of a song written for rapper character Freda Gatz. "It started as 'Free Freda,'" Jerkins told Billboard magazine, "as she's locked up in jail. But once I sat down with Jussie, we started talking about everything going on in the country."

    "I recorded this exactly seven days after Philando Castile was shot," Smollett added. "Between the shootings of Castile, Alton Sterling, at the Pulse in Orlando and the police officers in Dallas - not to mention the other numerous killings over the last couple of years - it was like we couldn't breathe."

    "What are we doing as a people, a nation; what message are we sending to the next generation? Then this song came," he concluded.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Justin Hayward of The Moody BluesSongwriter Interviews

Justin wrote the classic "Nights In White Satin," but his fondest musical memories are from a different decade.

SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.